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

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CNN 21 April, 2021 - 03:23am 27 views

When is the Lyrid Meteor Shower 2021?

This month, the Lyrid meteor shower returns, peaking the night of April 21 into the morning of April 22. It's not the most stunning meteor shower of the year, mostly because it can't compare to the more wowing displays like the Perseids or the Geminids, which produce far more meteors per hour. ThrillistThe First Big Meteor Shower in Months Arrives This Week

When is the meteor shower?

Updated on April 19, 2021 at 9:05 pm. A meteor of the lyrids in the sky is seen on April 22, 2020 in Schermbeck, Germany. Earth Day is coming up on Thursday and what better way to celebrate than to take in the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower late on Wednesday into the overnight hours of Thursday. NBC 5 Dallas-Fort WorthWhat to Know About Earth Day Meteor Showers

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The Lyrid meteor shower, which happens in late April each year, occurs when the Earth passes through the tail of a comet. As debris from that comet enters our planet's atmosphere, it burns up, leaving streaks in the sky that are visible to the naked eye for several seconds. 

When the Lyrids peak, people can expect to see between 10 and 20 meteors every hour. These meteors often leave "glowing dust trains" in their wake as they disintegrate, according to NASA.

The moon is more than half full this week, which will make it trickier to spot the shooting stars. Here are some tips for catching the Lyrids in action.

The best time to glimpse the Lyrids is in the wee morning hours on Thursday, April 22, before the sun rises. 

Waiting until the waxing moon sets — about 4 a.m. on the US East Coast — will make it easier to spot the meteors and their dust trains. Otherwise, the bright glow from the almost-full moon (it'll be 68% full on Thursday) may obscure the meteor streaks.

Head to an area well away from a city or street lights, and bring a sleeping bag or blanket. No need to pack a telescope or binoculars, since meteor showers are best seen with the naked eye.

"Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible," NASA's website said. "After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors."

The shooting stars can appear anywhere in the sky, but if you need a reference point, look to the harp-like constellation Lyra, from which the Lyrids often seem to emerge. (That's how they get their name.)

If you miss out on the show Thursday morning, there will still be meteors to see Friday. In fact, the Lyrid meteor shower this year will continue through April 30. Usually, it ends by April 25.

Humanity has known about the Lyrid meteor shower for almost three millennia: The first sighting dates back to 687 BC in China, according to NASA. 

The meteors hail from a comet called Thatcher, named after the astronomer who first identified the space rock in 1861.

It takes Thatcher 415 years to orbit the sun (we won't see it again until the year 2276). As it circles the solar system, Thatcher's tail leaves behind a trail of debris and leftover comet particles.

Every April, Earth passes through Thatcher's debris and gets bombarded with comet litter for two weeks — which makes for a dazzling meteor shower. 

After the Lyrids pass, there are still 11 meteor showers to look out for this year. One of the most popular, the Perseids, will peak on the night of August 11. 

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The Lyrid meteor shower will light up the sky this week and peak on Thursday. Here's how to watch these shooting stars.

Yahoo News 21 April, 2021 - 06:00am

The first major meteor shower since January is coming to a sky near you over the next few nights, with the peak being during the predawn hours of Thursday, April 22.

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After a four-month hiatus, shooting stars will return with the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower on April 21-22 as the world celebrates Earth Day. Accuweather

The first major meteor shower since January is coming to a sky near you over the next few nights – and the peak will be in the predawn hours Thursday, Earth Day.

"By April, after the months of meteor drought, many meteor-watchers are itching to get going," EarthSky.org reports. "So – though they produce only 10 to 15 meteors per hour at their peak – the Lyrids are always welcome." 

A few shooting stars may be seen streaking across the sky early in the night, but like many meteor showers, the best time to watch the event will be during the second half of the night as the frequency of meteors slowly increases, AccuWeather said. 

Also, the moon will be emitting bothersome light pollution until after it sets around 3:30 or 4 a.m. local time, after which the darker sky will make it easier to see the dimmer meteors.

Weather-wise much of the nation should be clear, which will make for excellent viewing of the Lyrids, according to AccuWeather.

The Lyrids have been observed for more than 2,700 years, NASA said, making them one of the oldest known showers.  The first recorded sighting of a Lyrid meteor shower goes back to 687 B.C. in China. Observers there said the Lyrids were "falling like rain."

Lyrids are pieces of debris from the Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. In mid-April of each year, the Earth runs into the stream of debris from the comet, causing the meteor shower.

The Lyrids begin as tiny specks of dust that hit Earth’s atmosphere at 109,600 mph, vaporizing from friction with the air and leaving behind the streaks of light we call meteors, Astronomy magazine reported.

The meteors appear to emanate from the constellation Lyra the Harp, near the bright star Vega, which rises in late evening and passes nearly overhead shortly before dawn, the magazine said.

The Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors, NASA said, though not as fast or as plentiful as the famous Perseids in August.

Lyrids frequently leave glowing dust trains behind them as they streak through the Earth's atmosphere, according to NASA. These trains can be observable for several seconds.

The next major meteor shower will be the Eta Aquarids, which is set to peak in early May.

© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

The 2021 Lyrid Meteor Shower Is Here! How to Watch the Annual Event Before It Peaks

PEOPLE.com 21 April, 2021 - 06:00am

The 2021 Lyrid Meteor Shower, which started picking up steam on Monday, is expected to streak across the sky this week, according to EarthSky.org.

Experts predict that the annual event — which occurs each year after a meteor drought from January to mid-April — will reach its peak during the predawn hours on Thursday, the outlet reported.

"By April, after the months of meteor drought, many meteor-watchers are itching to get going!" the site reads. "So – though they produce only 10 to 15 meteors per hour at their peak – the Lyrids are always welcome."

According to NASA, Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers, with the first reported sighting dating back to 687 BC.

They are known for their "fast and bright meteors" and "frequently leave glowing dust trains behind them as they streak through the Earth's atmosphere," which can be observed for several seconds afterward, NASA reported.

Each year, from about April 16 to 25, the Lyrids start to become active and light up the sky, according to EarthSky.org.

With this year's event, experts believe the best view of the Lyrids will be seen between moonset and dawn, regardless of your location on Earth, the outlet reported.

However, the American Meteor Society noted that meteors are "best seen from the northern hemisphere where the radiant is high in the sky at dawn," and that although activity can be seen from the southern hemisphere, it will be "at a lower rate."

On Thursday, during its expected peak, the shower is expected to produce about 15 to 20 meteors per hour, according to EarthSky.org.

AccuWeather.com also reported that while "a few shooting stars may be seen streaking across the sky early in the night... the best time to watch the event will be during the second half of the night as the frequency of meteors slowly increases."

"Additionally, the moon will be emitting bothersome light pollution until after it sets around 3:30 a.m. or 4 a.m. local time, after which the darker sky will make it easier to see the dimmer meteors," the site stated. "A few lucky onlookers may even spot incredibly bright meteors known as fireballs, which are periodically seen around the time that the Lyrids peak."

Luckily, the weather will be clear for those interested in catching some celestial action, with AccuWeather reporting that the weather will be favorable across North America.

Most of the southern, western and north-central parts of the U.S. will experience clear to partly cloudy conditions, but the outlet noted that clouds may cause issues for some areas of Florida, and near Colorado and Kansas.

For the best viewing experience, experts recommend traveling to more rural areas that won't be disrupted by light pollution, often found in or near cities, according to EarthSky.org.

And for those who have to miss the event, have no fear: it won't be long until the next meteor shower strikes. Following the Lyrid Meteor Shower, the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower is expected to occur between April 19 to May 28, with a peak expected for May 4-5, according to the American Meteor Society.

Look up! Meteor shower and supermoon to end the month

WKRN News 2 21 April, 2021 - 06:00am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Thursday, April 22, and Friday April 23, you’ll want to keep an eye on the sky between midnight and dawn.

If there aren’t too many clouds around, you might just catch a few flashes of light in the sky from the Lyrid Meteor Shower.

The meteors come from the constellation “Lyra.” They are sometimes visible up to 20 per hour.

However, there are a couple of issues that could hinder your view. First, we could see a few clouds on Thursday and Friday morning. Then there’s a possibility for light pollution, which impacts more populated areas like downtown Nashville.

There’s another source of natural light pollution that you might actually get excited about. A week from today, we’ll have the “Pink Moon” – April’s full moon, and it’s a supermoon.

However, as the moon waxes this week, it’ll be bright enough that it could make it more difficult to see the meteors.

Either way, you’ll have two exciting things to watch for in the sky.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With a freeze watch in effect later this week for portions of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, taking steps to protect sensitive plants is essential.

News 2 spoke with Mary Weber, the Director of Horticulture at Cheekwood, to learn more about keeping plants hearty and healthy as a late-season chill moves through. While some plants are hardy enough to survive a late-season freeze, Weber says that others are not.

As the cold air drops in and mixes with the moisture ahead of the front, light rain and the potential for a wintry mix could occur after 10 p.m. Tuesday through about 5 a.m. Wednesday. Accumulation is not expected as the ground will be too warm.

This included what was known as the infamous "Nashville Tornado" that traveled for 28 miles from Davidson County into Wilson County. The monster storm killed one person and injured sixty others.

The First Meteor Shower of The Year Is Starting! Here's How You Can See It

ScienceAlert 21 April, 2021 - 06:00am

The Lyrid meteor shower, which happens in late April each year, occurs when the Earth passes through the tail of a comet. As debris from that comet enters our planet's atmosphere, it burns up, leaving streaks in the sky that are visible to the naked eye for several seconds.

When the Lyrids peak, people can expect to see between 10 and 20 meteors every hour. These meteors often leave "glowing dust trains" in their wake as they disintegrate, according to NASA.

The moon is more than half full this week, which will make it trickier to spot the shooting stars. Here are some tips for catching the Lyrids in action.

The best time to glimpse the Lyrids is in the wee morning hours on Thursday, April 22, before the Sun rises.

Waiting until the waxing moon sets – about 4 am on the US East Coast – will make it easier to spot the meteors and their dust trains. Otherwise, the bright glow from the almost-full moon (it'll be 68 percent full on Thursday) may obscure the meteor streaks.

Head to an area well away from a city or street lights, and bring a sleeping bag or blanket. No need to pack a telescope or binoculars, since meteor showers are best seen with the naked eye.

"Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible," NASA's website said. "After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors."

The shooting stars can appear anywhere in the sky, but if you need a reference point, look to the harp-like constellation Lyra, from which the Lyrids often seem to emerge. (That's how they get their name.)

If you miss out on the show Thursday morning, there will still be meteors to see Friday. In fact, the Lyrid meteor shower this year will continue through April 30. Usually, it ends by April 25.

Humanity has known about the Lyrid meteor shower for almost three millennia: The first sighting dates back to 687 BC in China, according to NASA.

The meteors hail from a comet called Thatcher, named after the astronomer who first identified the space rock in 1861.

It takes Thatcher 415 years to orbit the sun (we won't see it again until the year 2276). As it circles the Solar System, Thatcher's tail leaves behind a trail of debris and leftover comet particles.

Every April, Earth passes through Thatcher's debris and gets bombarded with comet litter for two weeks – which makes for a dazzling meteor shower.

After the Lyrids pass, there are still 11 meteor showers to look out for this year. One of the most popular, the Perseids, will peak on the night of August 11.

Want to watch the Lyrid meteor shower? Here are the best places to stargaze in Nashville

Tennessean 21 April, 2021 - 05:33am

Some of the best spots in and around Nashville, Tennessee, where stargazers can watch meteor showers.

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After a four-month hiatus, shooting stars will return with the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower on April 21-22 as the world celebrates Earth Day. Accuweather

Trying to watch the Lyrid meteor shower this week in Nashville? Be prepared to venture away from the bright city lights and drive about 30 minutes to an hour (or more) out of town to catch the light show. 

Thursday marks the first major meteor shower since January — and it just so happens to fall on Earth Day. 

The Lyrids will be visible the next few nights, with the peak being during the predawn hours of Thursday.

Stargazers will have the chance to catch a few shooting stars across the sky in the early night Thursday and increased chances of seeing a meteor shower during the second half of the night, according to AccuWeather

Clear skies will play an important factor in whether you'll be able to see anything or not though. Although AccuWeather reports much of the nation should be clear, Nashville's forecast for Wednesday and overnight into Thursday shows mostly cloudy skies with an 85% chance of cloud cover. The cloudy skies are forecast for much of the weekend. 

The Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors, according to NASA. The next major meteor shower will be the Eta Aquarids in May. 

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Here's How to Best View This Month's Lyrids Meteor Shower - Nerdist

Nerdist 20 April, 2021 - 10:08pm

Thatcher’s dust particles now zipping into Earth’s atmosphere form the April Lyrids: a ten-day meteor shower that occurs each year, beginning on April 16. And while the show has begun, it’s set to peak April 21-22.

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke spoke with Space.com, and gave some critical tips on how to view the Lyrid light show. Cooke told the space news site that viewers should wake up early, before dawn, after the Moon’s set. The Moon will be quite luminous on peak days, and may obscure the meteors’ light.

Cooke also said that the average April Lyrids shower produces 15 to 20 meteors per hour. And that this year people will likely see around 18 per hour. (The number changes depending on how clear and dark the sky is in different locations.)

The Lyrid meteor shower kicks off tonight in the Northern Hemisphere! This shower is created by a debris stream from Comet C/1861 G1, a long-period comet with roughly a 415-year orbit. You can support the effort to build a new CAMS observatory in India: https://t.co/5ZgvawdHoZ pic.twitter.com/2FlGMGIBrM

The Lyrids, like other meteor showers—such as the Persiod meteor shower—can also exhibit “outbursts” of meteors. These outbursts see the number of meteors per hour ramp up to 100. (Literally 100 per hour.) Although Cooke says it’s very difficult to predict when these outbursts will occur. Despite the fact some think they display periodicity.

Cook says the radiant—the meteors’ apparent origin point in the sky—will be high in the evening sky in the constellation Lyra. It’ll be northeast of Vega, which is one of the brightest stars in the night sky during this time of year. The meteor expert also advises people to not look directly at the radiant point, as meteors with the longest tails appear elsewhere. Regardless of where your tired eyes may fall, however, the show will probably be worth it. It’s been a hit since 687 BCE!

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