The 2018 Lyrid Meteor Shower is coming to a sky near you this weekend. Here's everything you need to know.
When is the Lyrid Meteor Shower 2018?
The Lyrid meteors streak across the sky between April 16 and April 25, but the peak time is in the early morning of Sunday, April 22, right before dawn.
What is the Lyrid Meteor Shower?
The Lyrids, which peak during late April, are one of the oldest known meteor showers: Lyrids have been observed for 2,700 years. (The first recorded sighting of a Lyrid meteor shower goes back to 687 BC by the Chinese.)
The Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors, though not as fast or as plentiful as the famous Perseids in August, Lyrids can surprise watchers with as many as 100 meteors seen per hour. Sightings of these heavier showers occurred in 1803 (Virginia), 1922 (Greece), 1945 (Japan), and 1982 (U.S.). In general, 10-20 Lyrid meteors can be seen per hour during their peak.
Lyrids frequently leave glowing dust trains behind them as they streak through the Earth's atmosphere. These trains can be observable for several seconds.
Where is the best place to see the Lyrid Meteor Shower?
The Lyrids are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the dark hours (after moonset and before dawn). Find an area well away from city or street lights.
Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.
Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.
Will we see the Lyrid Meteor Shower in Michigan?
Since we're in the Northern Hemisphere, we're in a good position to see the meteor shower.
The ony factor is that darn Michigan weather. As it stands, weather this weekend is looking decent, so we should have a good shot!
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