Shooting Stars in April

Map of the Lyrid Meteor Shower

The week ahead will be GREAT for looking up in the sky in late night or early morning.

The annual Lyrid Meteor Shower, also known as shooting stars, will peak on April 21 but you can still see the "meteoroids" lighting up the sky days before and days after the peak day. Meteoroids are debris from the Comet Thatcher entering our earth's atmosphere and burning up. Best viewing is away from the lights of the city. See below for more viewing tips.

The planet Saturn will also be up in the sky and so will the planet Mars. If you have a telescope (even a cheap one), point it at Saturn and you will probably be able to see the rings.

My favorite website for sky information.
My favorite FREE Sky Maps so you know what you are looking at that month.

How can I best view a meteor shower?

If you live near a brightly lit city, drive away from the glow of city lights and toward the constellation from which the meteors will appear to radiate.

For example, drive northeast to view the Lyrids. Driving south may lead you to darker skies, but the glow will dominate the northeastern horizon, where Lyra rises. Perseid meteors (August 13) will appear to "rain" into the atmosphere from the constellation Perseus, which rises in the northeast around 11 p.m. in mid-August.

After you've escaped the city glow, find a dark, secluded spot where oncoming car headlights will not periodically ruin your sensitive night vision. Look for state or city parks or other safe, dark sites.
Once you have settled at your observing spot, lie back or position yourself so the horizon appears at the edge of your peripheral vision, with the stars and sky filling your field of view. Meteors will instantly grab your attention as they streak by.

More information on the Lyrid Meteor Shower here!

A video about the Lyrid Meteor Shower, Saturn and Mars from NASA.

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