ALABAMA (WHNT) — One of the longest-running known meteor showers is set to dance across the night sky in April – and here’s all you need to know about the best way to watch.
The Lyrid meteor shower arrives in late April every year according to NASA, specifically between April 16-29, and is expected to peak on April 22 (which also happens to be Earth Day!). Experts say the viewing this year will be especially brilliant since the waxing crescent moon will only be illuminated at 6% that night.
Experts say the best viewing areas will be pretty much anywhere in the country, but best sought well away from the city lights and street lights, as they tend to dilute your night vision.
Thankfully, here in the Tennessee Valley, that won’t be a hard feat!
NASA encourages spectators to grab a blanket, sleeping bag or lawn chair before finding a spot outside to lay back and take in as much sky as possible – while facing east! Allow yourself to sit for 30 minutes in the dark for your eyes to adjust, experts add.
Although your best bet at catching the most and brightest meteors will be just before dawn, the Lyrids will start being visible late the night before.
According to NASA, they’re famous for being fast and bright, with as many as 15-20 meteors per hour, though in more intense years, up to 100 could be seen in an “outburst.” Despite not leaving long, sparkling dust trails, you could see an occasional fireball flash across the atmosphere.
The Lyrid meteor shower comes from space debris and leftover particles from comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered by A. E. Thatcher on April 5, 1861.
You can fill your brain with all of the fun facts and interesting tidbits about the Lyrid meteor shower here.