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One of the Oldest Known Meteor Showers Will Peak Just in Time for Camping Season

News Astronomy
by Eben Diskin Apr 9, 2021

There are approximately 30 meteor showers a year that are visible to us on Earth, and this one occurring every late April can produce some of the brightest and fastest meteors. The Lyrid meteor shower will peak late at night on April 21, 2021, and in the early hours of the following morning.

The Lyrid meteor shower, named after constellation Lyra from where it appears to come from, was first observed in 687 BCE, and happens when Earth passes through the tail of the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, NASA explained.

The Lyrid meteors are known for being fast and bright. Sometimes the shower dazzles stargazers with up to 100 meteors per hour, though typically there are only about 10 to 20. This year is expected to see fewer meteors — closer to 10 than 100 — but you never know until you go out and look. Also characteristic of the Lyrids is their glowing dust trails that streak through the sky.

The best place to see the Lyrids is in the Northern Hemisphere after moonset and before dawn. As always with stargazing, make sure to find a place with low light pollution, away from city or street lights. Since the shower peaks so late in the evening, you might want to prepare by bringing a sleeping bag.

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