The Lyrid meteor shower of 2021 peaks tonight! Here’s how to see it.

One of springtime’s most distinguished “shooting star” teams peaks in a single day tonight (April 21-22).The well-known Lyrid meteor shower will turn out to be seen within the Northern Hemisphere starting at about 10:30 p.m. native time and persevering with in a single day, climate allowing in your space of course. The finest visibility will possible be earlier than daybreak, after the waxing gibbous moon units; in any other case, you will have some interference from moonlight.The particular person meteors, or tiny house rocks, of the Lyrids seem when the Earth, transferring in its orbit across the solar, plows into the dusty path of a long-departed comet, referred to as Thatcher, that swings by Earth each 415 years (the final time being in 1861, precisely 160 years in the past). Related: Lyrid meteor shower 2021: When, the place & how to see itThe radiant, or level that the taking pictures stars seem to emanate from, is within the Lyra constellation excessive above the horizon. You can discover your manner to Lyra by in search of Vega, one of the brightest stars of the northern sky. But ensure to look barely away from Lyra, as a result of the meteors with the longest trails will seem effectively exterior of the constellation.You do not want telescopes or binoculars to view a meteor shower; your eyes will do. Dress warmly (April continues to be very chilly in lots of U.S. areas) and get exterior about 20 minutes earlier than you intend to start your observations, to give your eyes time to alter to the darkness. Move away from any outside lights which you can and if potential, use a lounge chair to keep away from neck ache whereas wanting on the sky.Technically the Lyrids proceed till April 30, however NASA meteor knowledgeable Bill Cooke instructed that it is best to see essentially the most meteors Wednesday into Thursday morning (April 21 to April 22). “Get up early before dawn, after the moon has set. You have a pretty good chance of seeing some Lyrids this year,” Cooke mentioned. That mentioned, NASA warns that the window of ultimate viewing time Thursday could be very brief — most likely solely about half an hour earlier than the sky brightens simply earlier than 5 a.m. native.Cooke predicted skywatchers will see roughly 18 meteors an hour — relying on how darkish your sky is, so get away from gentle air pollution the place you’ll be able to (and if it is protected to achieve this, on condition that many areas of the world are below pandemic quarantines proper now.)Related: How to see the very best meteor showers of 2021 This yr’s predicted amount of seen meteors is effectively throughout the standard vary of 15 to 20 meteors an hour. At occasions, Lyrid meteor showers can produce bursts of up to 100 meteors an hour, however Cooke mentioned the forecast for this yr could be very unlikely in that regard. Past distinguished meteor showers had been in 1803, 1922 (96 per hour) and in 1982 (80 per hour); 1803’s occasion was significantly spectacular because the townspeople of Richmond, Virginia left their beds to see a shower that appeared to come from all elements of the sky.Any meteors you’ll be able to see this yr will possible stand out. Skywatching columnist Joe Rao says the meteors are shiny and swift, transferring by way of the environment at common speeds of 30 miles (48 kilometers) per second. Roughly 1 / 4 of the person meteors will go away large trains throughout the sky, maybe as many as 5 to 10 such meteors throughout an evening of glorious circumstances across the peak shower date.Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.  

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