Lyrid meteor shower lights up sky in April: Here’s when to watch

Stargazers who love a good light show can see the Lyrid meteor shower streak across the night sky this month.

For 2021, one of the oldest known meteor showers will pop up just in time for Earth Day.

According to EarthSky, the Lyrids meteor shower is expected to peak in the predawn hours of Thursday, April 22, continuing into the morning of April 23, weather permitting.

“On the morning of April 22, the Moon will set about 30 minutes before any sign of dawn begins to show in the east – at 4:07 a.m. and 4:44 a.m. EDT, respectively – so there will only be a short window without light interference,” NASA said.

 

The annual Lyrid meteors show is an annual celestial event that is active from April 16 to April 25. The shower is caused by the “dusty trail” of the Comet Thatcher, Space.com says.

According to NASA, the Lyrid meteor shower is distinct as being one of the oldest known meteor showers with records dating back to 2,700 years. The Lyrids appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra, where the name for the shower originates.

Space.com offers these tips for sky watchers trying to view the event:

  • Find an area away from city lights or street lights.
  • Prepare for weather conditions with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.
  • Give your eyes 15 to 20 minutes to adjust to the night sky; even in light-polluted areas, this will make a difference.
  • Try taping something red over any flashlights (such as red construction paper or red foil) or download a red filter app for phone screens to reduce glare.

In-the-Sky.org has free resources for your astronomy adventures that you can customize to your location.

Viewing conditions will depend on the weather and skies in your area. As a reminder, if you step outside to view this event, be mindful of social distancing guidelines.

See also: Lousiana irises now blooming this spring; here’s where to spot them


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