Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

Lyrid Meteor Shower

Written By on in Sky at Night

185 words, estimated reading time 1 minutes.

Earth is about to enter a stream of debris from Comet Thatcher, the source of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. Expect between 5 to 20 meteors per hour around the peak dates.

The annual Lyrids are a medium strength shower that typically range from 5 to 20 meteors per hour around the peak dates. These meteors are best seen from the northern hemisphere where the radiant is high in the sky at dawn. Activity from this shower can be seen from the southern hemisphere, but at a lower rate.

Forecasters expect the shower to peak on April 22nd, with a display of 10 to 20 meteors per hour over the Northern hemisphere. Occasionally, Earth passes through a dense region of the comet's tail and rates surge five- to ten-fold. In 1982, for instance, observers were surprised by an outburst of 90 Lyrids per hour. Because Thatcher's tail has never been mapped in detail, the outbursts are unpredictable and could happen again at any time.

The best time to look, no matter where you live, is during the dark hours before dawn on the morning of April 22nd.

The radiant point for the Lyrid shower sits just to the right of Vega, which is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Its from Vegas constellation Lyra that the Lyrid meteor shower takes its name.
The radiant point for the Lyrid shower sits just to the right of Vega, which is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Its from Vegas constellation Lyra that the Lyrid meteor shower takes its name.

Last updated on: Saturday 27th May 2017

 

 

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