Take a moment this April to step outside and marvel at the night sky. Very soon, it will be illuminated with the glow of up to 18 meteors an hour. The Lyrids Meteor Shower is coming back later this month, and is expected to reach its peak between Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23.
What is the Lyrids Meteor Shower?
This famous meteor shower occurs every year in April, at roughly the same time each month. The Lyrids are one of the oldest recorded meteor showers in history, with reports going as far back as ancient China in 687 BC.
These meteors, named after the Lyra constellation, are the debris of Comet Thatcher. This comet takes around 415 years to orbit the sun, and won’t be visible from Earth until 2276.
Thankfully, the Lyrids are an annual occurrence. They should be active between Saturday April 16 and Monday April 25. In Melbourne, their activity should peak between Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23. Expect up to 18 meteors per hour.
To see the Lyrids, check out Time and Date for updated times and positions of the meteors. Then, rug up with a jacket, and try to find a quiet spot with low light pollution in the wee hours of the morning. You can use this light pollution map for assistance, or simply step out on the balcony or in the backyard and hope for clear skies.