Head outside for the night tonight and you might see a shooting star or two.
The Lyrid Meteor Shower will peak overnight from Thursday to Friday. The rain will peak around midnight Friday (11 pm CST Thursday).
The lyrids are known for fast, bright meteors that have the potential to produce up to 100 meteors per hour. However, we will not see that this year. This year’s meteor shower is expected to produce between 10 and 15 Lyrids per hour, depending on how dark and clear the sky is.
Spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of a shooting star should find an area away from city or street lights and come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket, or lawn chair.
Other viewing tips from NASA:
- Lie on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.
- After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adjust and you will begin to see meteors.
- Be patient: the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to take a look.
The fireballs created by Lyrid are unique. NASA said they frequently leave trails of dust flowing behind them as they traverse Earth’s atmosphere with observable trains for several seconds. Its radiant, the point in the sky from which the Lyrids seem to come, is the constellation of Lyra, the harp, in particular the star Vega, the brightest star in the constellation.
Lyrids have been observed for 2,700 years with the first recorded sighting dating back to 687 BC. C. by the Chinese. They are produced by debris from Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher.
The next chance to see a meteor shower will be May 4-5 when the Eta Aquarids begin.