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Lyrid Meteor Shower: Fast Facts About April's Celestial Show in the Sky

You probably know the one about April showers and May flowers. But there’s another type of April shower that makes for even better viewing.

1. The April Lyrids happen every year.

The Lyrid Meteor Shower is one of 42 annual meteor showers, and appears between approximately April 16 to 26.

2. They generally peak between the 21st and the 23rd.

This year, skywatchers predict that the Lyrids will peak either tonight (April 22nd) or tomorrow night (April 23rd) — meaning you’ll see more meteors per hour between these two nights than over the entire event.

3. They are the longest-recorded meteor shower in history.

Chinese astronomers reported of stars falling “like rain” over 2,700 years ago!

4. Meteor showers are just space pebbles.

In this case, speed is what matters. Traveling at about 107,000 miles per hour, these small fragments of Comet Thatcher explode into our atmosphere 55 miles up, exciting air molecules that quickly cool, creating the dramatic flash we see.

5. You may see a few or a sky full.

The Lyrids aren’t the flashiest of meteor showers. Comet Thatcher is a modest comet that leaves behind less debris than other comets that produce annual shows, like the Perseids. Typically, you can expect to see about 20 falling stars per hour but that doesn’t mean the shower doesn’t have more generous years, occasionally giving us up to 100 per hour on such an occasion. In fact, in 1803, a journalist in Richmond, VA reported viewing a record 700 meteors per hour during the event!

6. Visibility may vary.

Some years are better than others, and unfortunately, the Lyrids this year falls just after the full moon. The sky will be bright with the waning gibbous, but if you look closely and keep your eyes on the skies, we expect you’ll still be able to catch a meteor sighting or two.

Celebrate the Lyrids Metor Shower with the Meteor Necklace!


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