Friday, 17 August, 2018

Lyrid Meteor Shower 2018: How and when to see it this weekend

The April Lyrids a meteor shower lasting from April 16 to April 26 each year is seen over the ancient city of Aizanoi in Kutahya Turkey Lyrid Meteor Shower 2018: How and when to see it this weekend
Theresa Hayes | 18 April, 2018, 00:49

It's one of the oldest recorded meteor showers in human history.

The Lyrid meteor shower takes place between April 16 and 25, and will likely peak the morning of April 22.

The Lyrid meteor shower actually started on Monday and runs through April 25, but the best chance to see shooting stars will happen in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 22, according to the Skymania website.

This is because, during their peak interval, Lyrid meteors usually fall at a rate of 10 to 20 an hour - considerably more than one would be able to see on any other day of the meteor shower.

Grab some friends, warm blankets, and quick snacks and be prepared to be dazzled by natures very own light show!

An outburst of Lyrid meteors is always a possibility, though no Lyrid outburst is predicted for 2018. According to NASA scientists, the meteor shower has been observed for more than 26,00 years.

Luckily, the moon will not interfere with the 2018 Lyrid meteor shower, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com.

Find out when it is and how you can see it.

The good news is you don't need to locate the shower's radiant point in order to spot the falling Lyrids, states EarthSky.

The Lyrids are so-called because they appear to burst forth from Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. But meteors should be visible across the sky.

The best time to view the shower will be before dawn on Sunday and the moon should set before the meteors appear.

Even though the main event of this celestial display is announced for April 22, it wouldn't hurt to keep your eyes peeled on April 21 and 23 as well, EarthSky notes.

The spectacular Lyrid meteor shower occurs annually when the Earth passed through a stream of dust leftover by comet Thatcher, a comet that orbits the sun once every 415 years, making it one of the oldest meteor showers in existence.

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.

The Lyrids are known to be fast and bright meteors that can often surprise spectators.