How to see the Lyrid meteor shower despite the bright moon

How to see the Lyrid meteor shower despite the bright moon

As the weather warms, the late April light show that is the Laird Meteor Shower is an opportunity for many to dust off their star blankets (not to mention theirs). Favorite hot beverage containers) and return to view the night sky in 2024. A total solar eclipse Interest in the Lyrids may also be picking up earlier this month.

But the nearly full moon has other plans. Its brightness will be less than maximum. However, there is no need to completely miss this opportunity to explore.

When to See the Lyrids in 2024

Either stay up late on the night of April 21st, or stay up in the early morning hours of April 22nd, as activity is expected to peak at 5:23am ET. That moment of peak activity is really where you should direct your effort, as the Lyrids come fast and furious within a compressed time window – sometimes at a rate of 100 meteor sightings per hour. You don't really get the flexibility that you get with longer shows like the Perseids, which last for weeks. On the plus side, the focused intensity of the Lyrids can include fireballs, According to the American Meteor Society.

How can I see the Lyrids when the moon is bright?

A bright waxing gibbous moon before the full moon on April 23 will undoubtedly increase your meteor viewing difficulty level. That doesn't mean it won't be possible to see a shower, but it does mean the extra effort will be rewarded. For example, to get a good view of any meteor shower you usually need to put about forty miles between you and the nearest city to minimize light pollution. This is even more true in these lunar conditions.

So the moon will be a coward, and it's not always possible to get out in nature, but think of it this way: when visibility is ideal, you can usually see four to eight meteors per hour even when Not even. This means that during the Lyrids, even if you only watch the sky from the suburbs for an hour and you catch a glimpse of ten meteors, you've got a pretty good show overall.

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Oh, and your night vision will work better if you don't adjust your eyes to the glowing screen, so keep your phone in your pocket.

What are Lyrids anyway?

Most meteor showers are caused by debris from the passage of comets orbiting our Sun, and the Lyrids are no different. These are a streak of dust left by Comet Thatcher, which was last seen in 1861 (and won't return until 2278). When our orbit passes us through the trail every year, the result is a volcanic display as rice-grain-sized chunks burn up in our atmosphere.

Meteors spread across the sky, but if you're having trouble seeing the action, this might help a little. Bright spot, the place in the sky where bright meteors can be seen. We usually map bright points with stars or constellations that overlap, which can give the false impression that meteors are many light-years away, when they are actually hitting our planet. There are. In North America, the bright point of the Lyrids more or less overlaps with the star Vega in the constellation Lyra, rising a little before midnight, and at its peak before dawn.

So patience, hot drinks, and — if you're feeling absolutely lost — a Stargazing app will direct your attention to the bright spot. But given the brightness of the moon, the problem may not be your sense of direction. This just might not be your year to see the Lyrids.

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