Lyrid Meteor Shower Ramps Up To Peak on Saturday

Posted April 19, 2017

The pre-dawn hours will offer the spectacle of the highest number of falling meteors.

In Maine we can see at least 9 meteor showers every year.

Bill Cooke, NASA meteor expert, told Space.com that patience is key to catching a glimpse of the shower. These things are not precise - in some years a meteor shower may be predicted to be stunning, but disappoint, while in other years a meteor shower might over-perform. You can start to see the meteors before the official peak, and after, there just won't be as many per hour.

A spectacular treat awaits stargazers in Qatar as the Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Saturday, generating a visual extravaganza of fast-moving shooting stars.

Shards of debris vaporise as they meet the Earth's upper atmosphere and create colourful flashes in the night sky. A day or maybe two on either side of peak it may still be worth looking up.

If the sky is clear, get ready to watch and spend at least 30 minutes outside to adjust to the darkness. Trying to watch a meteor shower in the middle of a city like Boston isn't going to prove very fruitful. While the weather will be warm, depending on how long you're out there, the ground could still get dewey so bring along a blanket even if you don't think it's cold enough to need one.

From Earth, Lyrid meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra the Harp, for which the Lyrids are named. "Radiating" basically means the meteors will be coming from that point in the sky. Look northeast, where Vega rises after 10 p.m. Beyond that, you'll want all the usual suspects with you: A star map (if you don't own one, this is a good app), snacks, you can substitute a lawn chair for a blanket if you want, but really the point is to see as much of the sky as possible so I wouldn't recommend it.