When To Look Up for the Lyrid Meteor Shower

Pablo Tucker
April 24, 2019

While the chances of seeing something like last week's truly impressive fireball meteor that cut through the New Jersey skies are pretty slim, clearing skies heading into tonight could make for good viewing of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. This meteor shower is easier to see in the Northern Hemisphere because that part of the sky is high above the horizon before dawn, although you can see a lower rate from the Southern Hemisphere.

The meteors, also known as shooting stars, will radiate from a point in the constellation of Lyra, the Lyre.

The museum forecast that 14-23 meteors could flash through the sky per hour from a radiant in the northern sky and said observation conditions will remain ideal for the following two nights, weather permitting. To see them, don't concentrate directly on the radiant, be aware of the sky around it, which is where the bright streaks will appear.

The best skywatching times will be in the evening before the moon fully rises, or around 11 p.m.

Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.

Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.

The best time for observing Lyrids is from midnight until dawn, while the best location is a relatively dark area without light and environmental pollution. Whatever night you observe here are some extremity for observing the fuming dust and debris abandoned by Comet Thatcher in its journey across the solar system. And give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness - without looking at your phone - so meteors are easier to spot.

A bright moon can make viewing hard.

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