The Lyrid Meteor Shower Starts Tonight

lyriads meteor shower 2015 sky map, meteor showers
The radiant point for the Lyrid shower sits just to the right of Vega, which is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Harp .. photo from Earthsky.org

Aprils’s shooting stars, the Lyrid meteors tend to be bright and often leave trails and is active each year from about April 16 to the 25th.  You should be able to see about ten to twelve meteors per hour at the peak, which is on the mornings of the 22nd and the 23rd.  Sometimes a rare surge will increase during the peak viewing times and you could see upwards of 100 per hour.

The radiant for the Lyrid meteor shower is near the bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra.  This rises in the northeast at about 10 pm on April’s evenings.   Since we have a waning gibbous moon it will not be as bright as the nights pass, after the constellation rises.

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The moon will set by the time the Lyrid radiant is high in the sky, and in the first quarter, setting by the time the show gets fired up after midnight.

Good places to view the lyriads are any dark area away from light pollution from cities and small towns.  The beaches are great, and if you are actively fishing you can stay out all night.  Delaware Seashore State Park is a good area to view.  The Delaware Bay beaches have less light pollution as well, but be mindful of the small neighborhoods there.  The Eta Aquarids will be the next to peak in early May.

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