Sun, 19 Apr 2020
AN annual meteor shower will light up the sky tonight with the possibility of shooting stars every hour, reaching its peak on Tuesday.
The Lyrid meteor shower is expected to appear today, Sunday, and will peak on Tuesday night, April 21 carrying on into the early hours of Wednesday. You may even catch the night time display up to the end of the month, April 30.
The best time to watch is between midnight and dawn and, with the skies clear of air traffic at the moment, and fingers crossed for a cloud-free sky, it should be quite a spectacular show.
Meteors are small chucks of debris left in the wake of celestial objects, like asteroids or comets - in this case comet Thatcher, which last came close to the sun in 1861.
When the Earth passes through this trail of material, it scoops up a number of these pieces which fall into the atmosphere.
There are expected to be around 20 meteors per hour and the Moon will be a thin crescent on Tuesday, so well worth a look.
NASA suggests be “prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or garden chair.
“Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.”
Be patient - it will take a little while to adjust your eyes to the night sky, but the showers should last until dawn so plenty of time to spot them, unless you fall asleep of course!
If you capture a meteor shower send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll create our own spectacular display