August 2, 2021
Posted: April 21, 2021 11:44 am
Kick off Earth Day on April 22 with a bang by checking out one of the most anticipated meteor showers of the year. Watching the Lyrid meteor shower is a great way to celebrate the beauty and wonder of the earth while spending time outdoors.
The Lyrid meteor shower will take to the night skies on April 21, stretching into the early hours of April 22. It has been nearly four months since the world has been treated to a meteor showing of this magnitude. The last meteor shower happened in early January when the Quadrantids put on a show. However, the gloom of winter kept many people indoors, missing out on this particular shower.
This will not be the case for the Lyrid meteor shower. Warmer temperatures and clearer skies across much of the nation should encourage many people to get out under the night sky and see what transpires.
According to the American Meteor Shower (AMS), the Lyrid meteor shower will feature up to 20 meteors per hour. While the meteors may be spotted all over the planet, the bulk of the viewing opportunities will happen in the Northern Hemisphere. During the early hours of the darkness, you may be lucky enough to see shooting stars make an appearance. However, the majority of the meteors will be in view during the latter part of the night.
During the peak of the Lyrids, you may even catch a glimpse of the bright meteors best known as fireballs.
Even if the skies are clear, the issue of light pollution may prevent some people from getting a clear look at these celestial wonders. The moon will put off its light until it begins to set. This set will happen around 3:30 am local time. For the very best viewing experience, set your watch to check out the skies after this time.
Additionally, it is difficult to spot these meteors in large cities because of the light pollution. Heading out to rural areas away from the light will yield the best results.
Clear Skies? The best places to see the meteor shower will be in the southern, north-central, and western portions of the US. Mostly clear skies with some scattered clouds should persist in the overnight hours in these regions. Residents in Florida, the Northeast, and the central portion of the nation may have to deal with clouds hampering their view.
If clouds are ruining your meteor viewing party, keep in mind that the meteors may be visible the night prior and the night after Earth Day. While Earth Day is the peak of the performance in the sky, the other nights may also provide viewing opportunities. However, a full moon on April 26 will start to make it more difficult to see the meteors because of the resulting light pollution.
Up Next: Astronomy lovers will not have to wait long for the next meteor shower. The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is scheduled to hit its peak in just two weeks. This particular shower is the best of the year for those living in the Southern Hemisphere, however, those north of the equator will still catch a glimpse of this show.
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