For all stargazers, amateur astronomers, and meteor enthusiasts: The Lyrid Meteor Shower will peak this Wednesday night. If you are lucky, you might see 10 to 20 meteors per hour, according to expert predictions.
You will not need a telescope or binoculars to view this event. Just grab a blanket, lie back, and stare at the night sky. The meteor shower will peak around midnight on April 22 and into the early morning hours of April 23.
“This should be an exciting experience,” said Slooh astronomer Bob Berman. “Typically, Lyrids produce a gratifying number of fireballs, which is surprising since their moderate speeds of 30 miles per second is only about 75% that of the August Perseids or November Leonids.”
What’s more, this week’s event coincides with the crescent moon, an ideal time to spot meteors because the moon will be just a slender slice in the sky. ”This year the moon will be a waxing crescent only 1/15th the brightness of a full moon,” said Berman, “and it will set early, allowing excellent dark sky conditions for this shower.”
The Slooh Community Observatory will be broadcasting the upcoming Lyrid Meteor Shower this Wednesday evening with new low-light equipment installed at their Canary Islands Observatory.
The live broadcast will begin at 5:00 PM PDT / 8:00 PM EDT / 00:00 UTC (8/22). For international times, click here.
Observers in the Northern Hemisphere are well located to view the Lyrids. Those in mid Southern Hemisphere latitudes will be able to view the shower between midnight and dawn.