Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks April 22 and 23

Katie Ramirez
April 24, 2019

An encore performance is expected to last from Monday night into dawn on Tuesday. Unfortunately, a bright, gibbous moon will wash out all but the brightest meteors this year. 'Around 4 a.m. local daylight time is also about the time that the Lyrid radiant will be nearly directly overhead from the southern United States, ' [Space.com's Joe] Rao writes. Still, some skywatchers might try their luck despite the brightly shining moon.

Dr Marzouk said astronomical instruments are not required to observe the meteor shower and people in Qatar and other countries across the Northern Hemisphere can see Lyrids with the naked eye from places without light and environmental pollution (pure sky). The Lyrid shower is one of the oldest known, with records of visible meteors going back 2,700 years, according to EarthSky. Observers there said the Lyrids were "falling like rain". In general, 10-20 Lyrid meteors can be seen per hour during their peak. Sky-watchers can expect to see about 18 meteors per hour (or roughly 1 every 4-5 minutes).

The meteor shower sometimes bombards the sky with up to almost 100 meteors per hour, which are known as outbursts.

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Look up: It's the Lyrid meteor shower! Japanese observers saw around 100 meteors per hour in 1945, and Greek observers saw that number in 1922. No Lyrid outburst is predicted for 2019, but you never know.

Lyrids frequently leave glowing dust trains behind them as they streak through the Earth's atmosphere.

Meteor showers like the Lyrids occur when Earth passes through the dusty trail left behind by a comet.

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