Lyrid meteor shower starts Monday night

18 April 2018, 12:47 | Shawn Tate

View larger. | Simon Waldram in the Canary Islands caught this Lyrid meteor in April 2014

View larger. | Simon Waldram in the Canary Islands caught this Lyrid meteor on the night of April 20-21 2014. Thank you Simon

The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest known, with sightings dating back to 687 B.C., reported Business Insider.

Head outside before dawn on Sunday for the best view. This was the case in 1982, when American stargazers were treated to a stunning outburst of 100 Lyrid meteors per hour.

The annual Lyrid meteor shower will dazzle the skies this weekend, hitting its peak on Saturday around dawn.

In mid-April of each year, Earth runs into the stream of debris from the comet, causing the meteor shower. The show starts Monday night but the best viewing is on early Sunday morning.

When is the Lyrid meteor shower this year?

Although the Lyrids will be active from April 16 to April 25, shooting across the sky all throughout the week, the peak of the meteor shower is undoubtedly the most mesmerizing to watch and should not be missed.

Vega, the brightest star in the constellation, will rise over the horizon in the northeast around 9 to 10 p.m.in the northern hemisphere, according to EarthSky.

Find out when it is and how you can see it.

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While the meteors will appear to come from a point in the sky that is home to the small constellation Lyra, it's not important to look in a particular direction of the sky.

They had seen a brilliant meteor exploding in the sky just over my shoulder.

The best times to watch the Lyrid meteor shower will be after midnight and just before dawn, the Met Office says.

Even though the main event of this celestial display is announced for April 22, it wouldn't hurt to keep your eyes peeled on April 21 and 23 as well, EarthSky notes.

When Earth crosses the comet's orbital path each year in April, the debris collides with our planet's atmosphere at a speed of 109,600 miles per hour.

Comet Thatcher last visited the inner solar system in 1861 and will not return until the year 2276. Last time Comet Thatcher came close to the sun was in 1861 and it is expected to return nearly 260 years from now, in 2276.

It's always remarkable to see how surprised people are when they spot a meteor, since bright meteors are not all that uncommon.



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