The always beautiful Lyrid meteor shower will be reaching its peak for the year tonight in the late night hours of April 21, 2014, and/or the early morning hours of April 22, 2014. Get out and enjoy the show! 🙂
If you absolutely can’t make it out tonight, then tomorrow night should be pretty good as well — though it won’t quite reach the heights of the peak occurring tonight.
(Author’s note: For up-to-date information on 2015’s Lyrids see: Meteor Showers 2015: Lyrids, Perseids, Draconids, Geminids, Orionids, Leonids, Taurids, Etc)
The show this year should be pretty good, as the conditions are quite good — the Moon won’t appear in the night’s sky until around 2am or so, so there won’t be much light interference when watching from a dark rural location.
For those looking to watch, it’s worth remembering that the Lyrids are primarily a meteor shower for those in the Northern Hemisphere, the show from the Southern Hemisphere just isn’t nearly as good. Though the closer those down under are to the equator the better it gets.
Those watching can expect to see between 15-20 meteors an hour this year — of course that’s when watching from a nice dark location. The meteors will appear to be originating from their namesake, the constellation of Lyra — located in the eastern portion of the night’s sky.
Here are some general tips to remember when watching for meteors:
• Try to watch from the darkest location that you can find, the further away that you can get from city lights, the better — dark, remote, rural locations are ideal.
• Remember to try and get comfortable — comfortable reclining chairs, blankets, warm clothes, pillows, etc, all help to improve the experience.
• Warm coffee, hot chocolate, or tea, also tend to make the experience more enjoyable as well.
To keep tabs on the other celestial events of the year you can download this annual calendar of celestial events! (It’s a free PDF).
Image Credit: NASA