Science

The Lyrid meteor shower has begun; here's when and where to look

The Lyrid meteor shower has begun; here's when and where to look”

We are expected to have a gorgeous weekend, and you might want to cast your gaze skyward Saturday night for what is expected to be the final peak evening of the Lyrid Meteor Shower.

Jane Houston Jones from Nasa's jet propulsion laboratory said: "It peaks this month in the morning hours of April 22". However, fewer meteors will be seen from places where light or obstructions block parts of the sky. Meteor activity could still be good enough on Saturday night to catch a few then, as well.

The Lyrid meteors are pieces of debris trailing behind the comet Thatcher, which was discovered and last seen passing Earth in 1861.

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As the bits of debris from the comet crash through the Earth's upper atmosphere they vaporise, turning into the colourful meteor shower.

Friday night will be a better bet for stargazers. NASA says viewers will be able to watch the meteor shower by finding the the Summer Triangle in the sky, where about 18 meteors will pass every hour.

After a disappointing year for meteor showers in 2016 due to moonlight interference, the Lyrids are one of several showers which won't be affected by moonlight this year. The number of meteors one could see at any given time may vary, though there have been times in history when the shower had been especially active. But where should you look, when is the best time to look, and what's the deal with this meteor shower? Keep in mind that it'll take your eyes about a half-hour to adjust to the darkness for optimum viewing.

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Get out of the city so that artificial lights do not impede your viewing.

Check the weather before you leave.

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