Attention sky watchers, the night sky is about to get a little more interesting tonight!
Tonight is the peak activity of the Lyrid Meteor Shower. It happens annually as Earth passes through the stream of debris from the comet Thatcher. On any given year, people can observe 10 to 20 meteors per hour. Some years the show is even more vibrant and intense. Unfortunately, a lot of the show will be “dulled” by moon light tonight. Basically, this means that the moon is at a fuller phase and brighter. It will wash out the appearance of the more faint Lyrid meteors and only brighter streaks will be visible.
Here’s what you need to know about watching them.
The meteor shower is best seen right before dawn Monday morning. This means you would need to be outside between 4-4:30 AM.
What to do:
- You’ll need to get outside of any city as the city lights will make the meteor shower too difficult to see
- Allow your eyes a good 30-40 minutes to adjust to the dark
- Lay back and look directly overhead
- You might also want to grab some blankets to stay warm
- Sit patiently
- And no equipment necessary, just your eyes!
The meteor shower will still be happening throughout the entire night. Due to how bright the moon will be, it will be more difficult to see the meteors. But it’s not impossible!
I found quite a bit of information regarding this event at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/04/130420-lyrids-2013-meteor-shower-space-science-how-to-see/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_tw20130421news-lyrids&utm_campaign=Content
Have fun sky watchers and let us know if you catch this event!