Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Know before you go: The Lyrid meteor shower

Know before you go: The Lyrid meteor shower

The Lyrid Meteor Shower began on April 16, according to Quartz, and will continue until April 25. In this case, the debris comes from a comet known as C/1861 G1 Thatcher (Comet Thatcher for short) as it orbits the sun.

"Lyrids frequently leave glowing dust trains behind them as they streak through the Earth's atmosphere". Weather is even more unpredictable than meteors, and if you find yourself with an overcast sky you won't likely see much of anything.

What time will the 2018 Lyrids peak?

Lyrid meteors - which are active from April 14 through April 30 - peak on April 22, according to NASA.

While meteor showers are hard to accurately predict, you'll probably get your best glimpse of it in the early morning hours of April 22 (if you're in the northern hemisphere), when the waxing moon is least likely to interfere. In the northern hemisphere, where the meteor shower is best observed, Vega rises on the horizon at about 10pm local time and it reaches the high point just before dawn.

The Lyrids are debris from the comet Thatcher, named after A.E. Thatcher, an astronomer who identified the comet the last time it approached Earth in 1861.

"It climbs upward through the night".

However, meteors will be visible streaking across all areas of the sky, not just to the east-northeast.

Okay, as soon as I say there will be meteors, I always get this question: "Where should I look?"

The night sky is filled with a countless number of stars, galaxies and constellations, but light pollution can limit how much is visible to the naked eye.

There are 10 meteor displays during the year that are generally considered reliable and worth looking for, and the most recent of these, the Quadrantid meteors, peaked in early January.

In case clouds create a hindrance on Saturday, people can watch it on Friday and Sunday night too.

The Lyrid meteor shower, which gets its name from its location near the Lyra constellation, is actually one of the world's oldest was first recorded by the Chinese more than 2,600 years ago, National Geographic reports.

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