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Look up! Lyrid meteor shower peaks this week

Lyrids peak Wednesday morning

Look northeast this week to spot the shower. Find the constellation Lyra. The bight star Vega is in Lyra.
Look northeast this week to spot the shower. Find the constellation Lyra. The bight star Vega is in Lyra.

ORLANDO, Fla.- – The Lyrids don’t match up to the meteor count per hour of the Geminids in December or Perseids in August, but this shower is special in its own way. Producing only 10-15 meteors per hour, the Lyrids are known for producing brighter meteors and the occasional fireball. Fireballs are exceptionally bright meteors.

The Lyrids are produced by leftover debris from Comet Thatcher that visited the inner solar system in the late 1800s. The light display during meteor showers are caused by that debris, meteoroids, about the size of a grain of sand, entering the earth’s atmosphere and burning up. That heat produces the iconic glow that dances across the night sky.

Lyrid activity picks up Sunday night as we close in on peak in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday. Unlike most meteor showers, the best time for viewing the Lyrids is in the morning before the sun comes up. That’s because Lyra, the constellation where the meteors appear to fall from, is highest in the sky in the morning. Lyra is easy to find as Vega, one of the brightest stars in our sky, is in the constellation.

Skies appear to be mainly clear Tuesday night into Wednesday for peak viewing.

HOW TO VIEW:

♦Look northeast after sunset. (Meteors will be highest in the sky during pre-dawn hours)

♦Find constellation Lyra. The star Vega in Lyra is brilliantly bright.

♦Expect 10-15 meteors per hour. This shower is know to produce bright meteors and even fireballs.

♦City lights will greatly impact for viewing. For best result you must be away from lights!

Naked eye viewing is recommended as binoculars and telescopes limit your field of view.


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