Published: Tue, April 23, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight: How to see shooting stars

Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight: How to see shooting stars

In mid-April of each year, Earth runs into the stream of debris from the comet, causing the meteor shower.

Springtime stargazers are in for a treat; the Lyrid meteor shower will peak in a dazzling show tonight and early Tuesday morning (April 22-23).

The Lyrids - created by bits of space debris originating from comet/C 1861 G1 Thatcher - appear to come from the constellation Lyra, the harp, specifically its star Vega.

SPRUCE KNOB, WV - AUGUST 12: In this NASA handout, a 30 second exposure of a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower August 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Unfortunately, viewing conditions are not the best this year.

Astronomy enthusiasts will get to see another meteor shower in May, when the Eta Aquariids will appear. This meteor shower is easier to see in the Northern Hemisphere because that part of the sky is high above the horizon before dawn, although you can see a lower rate from the Southern Hemisphere.

The weather forecast is promising throughout that period, with clear skies expected, but the moon will be in waning gibbous phase and likely will wash out most of the meteors. Find a spot away from artificial light, get comfortable and look up.

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Cooke told Space.com that the Lyrids do occasionally produce outbursts of as many as 100 meteors per hour, but that those bursts are unpredictable.

The Lyrid showers also tend to produce outbursts of up to 100 meteors per hour, but those outbursts are hard to predict.

"Lie down comfortably on a blanket or lawn chair, and look straight up".

The Lyrids are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the dark hours (after moonset and before dawn).

A bright moon can make viewing hard.

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