ASTRONOMY fans will be in for a treat this week as shooting stars are set to light up the sky.
The shower, which occurs annually from 16-30 April, marks the first meteor shower since January, with the new moon expected to make this year’s especially vibrant.
What day does the Lyrid meteor shower peak and will it be visible tonight?
The Lyrid meteor shower is set to be visible above the UK all this week.
The meteors will be at their peak on Tuesday, 21 April into Wednesday, 22 April.
The best time to watch it will be between midnight and dawn.
This year’s peak coincides with the new moon on Tuesday, which means skies will be especially dark, and the meteors will be more visibility.
The Lyrid meteor shower takes place between Thursday 16 April and Saturday 25 April, and while the light shower is already underway, it will be most visible at its peak.
How can I watch safely in the coronavirus lockdown?
To catch sightings of the Lyrids, you will have to be up late as they will become visible from 10.30pm, but will be in their full form after midnight, when lights have been switched off.
You will be able to see the shooting stars best in a large green space, like the countryside, away from any light pollution.
You won’t need a telescope or any special equipment to see them.
You can see them from you garden, or even a well-positioned window.
The best time to view the shower is between midnight and dawn, and they’re more visible under dark, clear skies.
It's likely you won’t be able to see it straight away.
Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Ed Bloom said people must be "patient."
He said: "It could be an hour before you see anything, so wrap up warm and get comfy in your garden."
NASA have given some tips on how to make the most of your garden to catch the meteor shower.
They advise: "Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.
"After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse."
So although you won't be able to leave your home, as long as you can stay up late enough to catch it, and have a blanket to keep warm, you can still enjoy it from the comforts of your home.
What is the Lyrids meteor shower?
A meteor is a space rock that falls into the Earth's atmosphere.
The rock gets so hot it has a visible glow around it.
When more than one meteor falls at once around the same place, the glow of heat around them gets brighter so we can see them from Earth.
This often looks like a shower of light in the sky.
The meteors will have very little to no chance of smashing into Earth.
They are usually really small, from the size of a grain of sand to a small rock, and burn before they reach us.
The Met Office say: "Known for their fast, bright meteors, the Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers" and at the peak of the shower, stargazers may see 10 to 15 meteors per hour.
Lyrid gets its name from the Lyra constellation, the Lyrid shower is one of the oldest known, with records of visible meteors going back 2,700 years.
This usually happens from April 16 – April 22, but the peak this yeah is likely to be on April 22, or April 23, depending on the time of night.
The Lyrids have been observed and reported since 687 BC and no other modern shower has been recorded as far back in time.
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