Published: Wed, April 24, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Lyrid Meteor Shower 2019 Peaks Overnight Tonight and Monday!

Lyrid Meteor Shower 2019 Peaks Overnight Tonight and Monday!

Meteor showers are typically best seen in the pre-dawn hours when the skies are dark and the meteors are bight.

"With bright moonlight and light pollution, expect to see only about two to seven meteors per hour", Kevin D. Conor wrote in his article psoted on Earthsky said that for example, in 1982, American observers saw an outburst of almost 100 Lyrid meteors per hour.

Typically, the Lyrid meteor shower can showcase between 10 and 20 meteors per hour during the peak, but it's hard to estimate how many will be visible.

This year the peak fell on the nights of Monday, April 22, and Tuesday, April 23. The meteors can appear all across the sky, but they seem to streak out of a spot to the northeast of the bright star Vega (called the meteor shower's radiant). The meteor shower is effortless to observe in the northern hemisphere as that part of the sky is high above the skyline prior to dawn but you can observe a lesser rate from the Southern Hemisphere.

There's no need to take binoculars or a telescope with you, just find a suitably dark area and hope there's not too much cloud.

Unfortunately for first-time viewers of the Lyrid, the comet Thatcher from which the showers are derived made its rare appearance to observers previous year and won't be coming back for viewing any time soon. Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look straight up.

Can you still see the Lyrid meteors tonight?

The chart shows the view looking east at midnight. The Lyrids hit Earth's atmosphere traveling as fast as 30 miles per second (49 kilometers per second), and can shine about as brightly as the stars in the Big Dipper, Cooke said. When comets come around the sun, they leave a trail of debris behind them.

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