Watch the Lyrids meteor shower tonight

Posted on 21 April 2020 By Anita Froneman

Have you ever seen a meteor shower? Grab a blanket and pillow, because tonight is the perfect opportunity as the Lyrids meteors will be visible.

These meteors are ‘leftovers’ from Comet Thatcher, and the meteoroids originate from dust grains ejected from the comet and distributed around the comet’s orbit.

When the earth passes through that stream of dust particles, they are visible to us.

When these ‘leftover’ pieces burn up, what we see is a meteor shower. It may look like many shooting stars, and we might even see bright fireballs which the Lyrids meteor shower is known for. An estimated 25% of the shower is made up of fireballs.

Comet Thatcher orbits the sun every 415 years and is only expected to return again around the year 2280, according to Science Alert.

The meteors pass at a swift 48 kilometres per second, so keep your eyes on the sky.

The shower will peak on Tuesday evening (21 April) but will be visible until Saturday 25 April. The best time to view is after midnight until right before dawn, and it will be visible to the naked eye. If you have binoculars, it might be worth keeping them handy for a better view.

Turn off all artificial lights and, of course, hope for clear skies.

Image: Twitter/ National Space Centre

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