Lyrid meteor shower to light up the skies over Britain – now’s time to catch it | Science & Tech News
People are encouraged to look up at the stars on Thursday morning to catch the Lyrid meteor shower.
Up to 18 meteors per hour are expected to light up the sky in one of the most significant showers of the year.
Astronomers say it is best to watch the sky display in the early morning or after sunset and in an area where there is as little light pollution as possible.
Stargazers won’t have the best of conditions, however, as the moon is in a growing gibbous phase – meaning it will be bright in the sky.
The display will peak at 1:00 PM UK time on April 22nd, but it will be more difficult to see at that point.
The Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers and, according to NASA, were first seen in 687 BC. Observed by the Chinese.
Meteor showers – also known as falling stars – occur when debris or meteorites enter the earth’s atmosphere and burn there.
The phenomenon means that breathtaking streaks of light can be seen in the sky.
The lyrids are meteors that fall from Thatcher’s Comet, which is expected to return to the inner solar system in 2276.
They get their name from the constellation Lyra the Harp, from which the shooting stars seem to come.
NASA recommends anyone who wants to see the display find an area away from city or street lights and pack a sleeping bag, blanket, or lounge chair.
You should then be lying flat on your back with your feet facing east and looking up.
It takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness before seeing meteors.
Tania de Sales Marques, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said the shower will have “the occasional fireballs nicknamed” Lyrid Fireballs. “
The lyrids occur between April 16 and 25 each year.
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