Lyrid meteor shower peaks April 22. Here's how to watch the night (predawn) sky

Science

KSL.com 21 April, 2021 - 11:56pm 26 views

When is the Lyrid meteor shower?

The Lyrid Meteor Shower, which typically peaks during late April, will light up the sky on the night of Wednesday, April 21 into the early morning hours of Thursday, April 22. al.comLyrid Meteor Shower 2021: Best times, tips to see Earth Day shooting stars

Where is the Lyrid meteor shower visible?

This meteor shower can be viewed from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres during the pre-dawn hours, but it is more visible in the Southern hemisphere, NASA says. KHOU.comLyrid meteor shower to peak early Thursday morning. Here's how to watch

Is there a meteor shower April 22 2021?

This month, the Lyrid meteor shower returns, peaking the night of April 21 into the morning of April 22. ... Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office tells Thrillist that stargazers should expect to see around 10-20 meteors per hour in 2021. ThrillistThe First Big Meteor Shower in Months Peaks Tonight

Read full article at KSL.com

Lyrid Meteor Shower 2021: How to Watch

The New York Times 22 April, 2021 - 02:10am

All year long as Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through streams of cosmic debris. The resulting meteor showers can light up night skies from dusk to dawn, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch a glimpse.

The next shower you might be able to see is known as the Lyrids. Active from April 14 to April 30, it is expected to be at its peak from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, or April 21 to 22.

There are records from ancient Chinese astronomers spotting these bursts of light more than 2,700 years ago. They blaze through the sky at about 107,000 miles per hour and explode about 55 miles up in the planet’s atmosphere. This shower comes from Comet Thatcher, which journeys around the sun about every 415 years. Its last trip was in 1861 and its next rendezvous near the sun will be in 2276.

The Lyrids can put on a very bright show some years. According to the International Meteor Organization, your best bet to see them this year may be closer to dawn because of the current phase of the moon.

If you spot a meteor shower, what you’re usually seeing is an icy comet’s leftovers that crash into Earth’s atmosphere. Comets are sort of like dirty snowballs: As they travel through the solar system, they leave behind a dusty trail of rocks and ice that lingers in space long after they leave. When Earth passes through these cascades of comet waste, the bits of debris — which can be as small as grains of sand — pierce the sky at such speeds that they burst, creating a celestial fireworks display.

A general rule of thumb with meteor showers: You are never watching the Earth cross into remnants from a comet’s most recent orbit. Instead, the burning bits come from the previous passes. For example, during the Perseid meteor shower you are seeing meteors ejected from when its parent comet, Comet Swift-Tuttle, visited in 1862 or earlier, not from its most recent pass in 1992.

That’s because it takes time for debris from a comet’s orbit to drift into a position where it intersects with Earth’s orbit, according to Bill Cooke, an astronomer with NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.

The best way to see a meteor shower is to get to a location that has a clear view of the entire night sky. Ideally, that would be somewhere with dark skies, away from city lights and traffic. To maximize your chances of catching the show, look for a spot that offers a wide, unobstructed view.

Bits and pieces of meteor showers are visible for a certain period of time, but they really peak visibly from dusk to dawn on a given few days. Those days are when Earth’s orbit crosses through the thickest part of the cosmic stream. Meteor showers can vary in their peak times, with some reaching their maximums for only a few hours and others for several nights.

It is best to use your naked eye to spot a meteor shower. Binoculars or telescopes tend to limit your field of view. You might need to spend about half an hour in the dark to let your eyes get used to the reduced light. Stargazers should be warned that moonlight and the weather can obscure the shows. But if that happens, there are usually meteor livestreams like the ones hosted by NASA and by Slooh.

The International Meteor Organization lists a variety of meteor showers that can be seen in 2021. Or you can find more information about some of the showers this year that are most likely to be visible here.

Lyrid Meteor Shower will peak on Thursday morning with up to 18 shooting stars per hour

Daily Mail 22 April, 2021 - 02:10am

By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline

The Lyrid meteor shower will hit its peak tomorrow morning when up to 18 shooting stars will streak across the sky every hour from about midnight. 

While the celestial display will officially peak at midday on April 22, the best time to view it from the UK will be just after sunrise or before sunset, astronomers say. 

Tania de Sales Marques, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich said: 'It is expected that this meteor shower will produce around 18 meteors per hour.'

However, she added that the Moon will be at a waxing gibbous phase, meaning that it will be quite bright in the sky, 'so conditions won't be very favourable'.

Astronomers say to view the shower you should look to the northeast sky and find the star Vega in the Lyra constellation, as there is where they will appear to originate.

To locate where the  Lyrid meteor shower will be passing, use the brightest star in the constellation Lyra to find the 'radiant,' or the point  where it looks like meteors are originating 

The Lyrid may not be the brightest of meteor showers, but it is one of the oldest observed and will be most visible on Thursday April 22

The show is on between April 16 and 25, ramping up late on April 19 and reaching its peak on April 22.

The best place to see the Lyrid meteor shower is in the Northern Hemisphere, although it is visible from all over the world. 

Rural areas away from city lights will provide a clearer view. 

The best time to catch these 'shooting stars' is before dawn, when the moon has set.   

Lyrid meteors should be the brightest lights in the sky aside from the moon. 

They leave smoky trails that can last for several minutes. 

Meteor showers, or shooting stars, are caused when pieces of debris, known as meteorites, enter Earth's atmosphere at speeds of around 43 miles per second.

They burn up in the atmosphere and cause streaks of light as they speed across the sky - with varying numbers of large rocks visible over the course of the night.

The Lyrids takes its name from the constellation of Lyra the Harp, where the shooting stars appear to originate from.

These meteors are pieces of debris falling from the Thatcher Comet, which is expected to return to the inner solar system in 2276.

The debris was leftover from its last visit through the inner solar system, something that happens every 415 years.

Ms de Sales Marques said: 'The Lyrids have been observed as far back as 687 BC, the oldest known record of any meteor showers still visible today.

'It is a moderate shower with the occasional fireballs, nicknamed the Lyrid Fireballs.'

Those waiting to catch a glimpse of the meteors will also be able to spot Vega, which is Lyra's brightest star.

Ms de Sales Marques told PA: 'Vega is one of the brightest stars in the sky and one of three stars that make up the Summer Triangle.

'This recognisable asterism will be easy to find in the pre-dawn sky.' 

March – April: Constellation of Orion visible in the night sky now 

April 22 & 23: Lyrid Meteor Shower - expected to peak around these dates

April 27: Super Moon/Pink Moon - will be a Super Moon this year 

Vega is a fairly close star to the Earth at 25 light years away, putting it in our local stellar neighbourhood and is the fifth brightest star in the night sky.

It is just over twice the size of the sun but up to 40 times as luminous, with a surface temperature of 16,823 degrees Fahrenheit, nearly twice the sun's 9,941°F.

According to astronomers, the best way to see meteor shower is to be as far away from artificial lights as possible and give your eyes time to adjust.

Ms de Sales Marques said: 'It is worth mentioning that meteors will be visible all over the sky, not just in the direction of the radiant.

'So to maximise your chance of spotting meteors, try to find a safe place that has an unobstructed view of the whole sky.'

The Lyrids occur between 16-25 April every year and usually produce about 20 shooting stars per hour as the Earth passes through the comet debris field.

The next meteor shower, the Eta Aquarids, is expected to peak between midnight and dawn on May 5-6. 

The coronavirus lockdown measures have led to a spike in interest in astronomy, according to Wex Photo Video, who saw a 260% traffic spike to their astronomy section.

Particles from the comet Thatcher create the dust that make up the Lyrid meteor shower, named for the constellation Lyra

This coincided with news that there had been a notable drop in light pollution levels as a direct result of lockdown leading to less activity on the street.

CPRE, the Countryside charity said this had led to increased visibility, based on the results of a nationwide star count. 

Chris Grimmer, astrophotographer and spokesperson for Wex Photo Video, said: 'As the lockdown rules are relaxed and we can travel more freely, it is well worth a trip out of the lights to a local dark sky area. 

'Turn out all the lights, keep your phones in your pockets and let your eyes adjust to the dark; The view will not disappoint.'

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Lyrid meteor shower peaks predawn April 22. Here's how to watch

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