Season of Meteor Showers About to Start

Society | April 20, 2021, Tuesday // 23:02|  views


Тhe annual Lyrid meteor shower peaking this week with which the Meteor season is officially back.

In the first three months are "winter break" for falling stars lovers as relatively not much happens between the Quadrantid meteor shower in early January and the Lyrids.

The Lyrids signal a welcome return of the chance to venture out in the evening amid mild temperatures and take in a celestial show. 

The Lyrids build to a peak on the evening of April 21 into the early morning hours of April 22.  If you can't get out that night or the weather doesn't cooperate where you are, one night before or after the peak is also expected to present a pretty good viewing opportunity.

The Lyrids don't produce a whole lot of meteors, perhaps 10 to 15 per hour, but are more likely to include bright, dramatic fireballs than other major showers. Every few decades we get an outburst during the Lyrids that boosts the rate up to about 100 per hour. That's not predicted to happen in 2021, but such things are also notoriously hard to predict.

The source of the Lyrids is the debris cloud left behind by a comet named C/1861 G1 Thatcher that was last seen in the 19th century and won't pass through the inner solar system again for more than two centuries. Each year, though, our planet drifts through the dust cloud it left behind on previous visits. Little space pebbles and other bits of dust and debris collide with our atmosphere and burn up high above us, producing those fleeting little light shows so many are willing to stay up late or wake up early to catch.

Whenever you go out to look for Lyrids, get as far away from light pollution as possible and find a spot like an open field or hilltop with a broad, unobstructed view of the night sky. Lie down, let your eyes adjust, relax and just watch.

It's not necessary to look at a particular part of the sky, but the Lyrids will appear to emanate outward from their namesake constellation Lyra, traveling away from that part of the sky like spokes on a wheel. So if you can find Lyra and orient yourself toward it, that's great but absolutely not required.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!