How to Watch the April Lyrids Meteor Shower This Weekend

Friday, 22 April 2016 - 5:00PM
Friday, 22 April 2016 - 5:00PM
Each year, the April Lyrids light up the sky with a spectacular meteor shower for ten days near the end of the month. Tonight is the peak night of the 2016 Lyrids, and if you're in the right place at the right time, you're almost guaranteed to see unusually bright meteors streaking across the sky. 

And the great news is, you can see the Lyrids no matter where you are. The meteors will be plainly visible to everyone in the Northern hemisphere starting after 10pm until dawn, and in the Southern hemisphere after midnight. People in rural areas may be able to see more meteors than those who live near city lights, but the Lyrids are bright enough than anyone should be able to see some of them. (And for all of you homebodies out there, here's a live stream of the event from SLOOH.)

The shower runs from April 16-April 26, and while the meteors will be visible all weekend, tonight is the best night to watch for them. The number of meteors per hour varies each year, but they will be fairly plentiful this year, at a rate of approximately 20 meteors per hour. Since the peak of the shower coincides with a full moon this year, a few of the dimmer meteors will be washed out by the moonlight, but the brighter ones will be easy to spot.

For many meteor showers, it helps to look for the radiant, or the point from which the meteors appear to emanate. The radiant will be in the Lyra constellation, but it won't be particularly helpful to look for it, since the moonlight will hide many of the meteors at certain points in the sky. So it would behoove any skywatchers tonight to view as much of the sky as possible, to increase the likelihood that you'll catch one.


Via Gizmodo


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