Meteor showers can be spectacular, and the Lyrid meteor shower is no exception. The Lyrids occur annually around April 23rd due to debris left behind by Comet Thatcher, which last passed near Earth in 1861. While the comet itself won’t return to our vicinity for another 415 years, we can enjoy the meteor shower it produces every year.
While the Lyrids are not the most active meteor shower, with only about 20 meteors visible per hour, they can still be dazzling. This year, observers may be in luck as the lack of a bright moon in the sky could make them easier to spot. The meteors appear from the constellation Lyra but can be seen anywhere in the sky.
For the best viewing experience, finding a location with minimal light pollution is recommended. City lights can significantly diminish the number of visible meteors, making it difficult to see more than a few brightest ones. Heading to a higher elevation, away from the glow of streetlights and buildings, will offer the best chance of seeing the most meteors.
Whether you’re a seasoned astronomer or just someone looking for a beautiful night sky, the Lyrid meteor shower is worth checking out. So mark your calendars for April 23rd and prepare to make a wish on a shooting star!