Lyrid April ShowersApril 18, 2011
We may not have had the traditional April showers in the UK this year, but that is about to change! As highlighted in our astronomy events guide, between the 16th to the 26th this month we see the April Lyrid meteor shower (peaking on April 22nd).
The meteors in this shower tend to be bright and leave persistent trains as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. In recent years the shower has averaged 10 to 20 meteors per hour.
That might sound like a fairly mediocre shower, but it has been known for the Lyrids to surge to over 100 per hour! This is what makes this shower so difficult to predict. Will it be a downpour or a washout this year!?
Lyrid meteors radiate from a point (radiant) in the constellation of Lyra and this is where this shower gets its name. The best time to look for Lyrid meteors is late in the evening on April 22nd after 10pm as the constellation of Lyra rises up from the northeast.
This will give you 2 or 3 hours of meteor watching before the waning gibbous moon rises and starts to wash out the sky. But still, it’s well worth staying up to see as many bright meteors as possible.
Originally posted on Universe Today by Adrian West @VirtualAstro on Twitter (Paraphrased above)