The history behind the Lyrid showers and when to see them.
Stargazers and night sky lovers have a very eventful end of April! We just had the arrival of the Pink Moon and now it's time to get ready for some meteor showers. The Lyrid Showers are one of the oldest known meteor showers that history has records of. Even more exciting, the Lyrid showers are said to be one of the strongest showers, having bursts of up to 20 visible meteors an hour!
These meteors are made from debris from the passing of earth by the comet Thatcher. Comet Thatcher was discovered in April 1861 by Alfred E. Thatcher from New York City. Even though the Lyrids come every year, their parent comet Thatcher won't be back until the year 2278. As I mentioned before, the Lyrid showers are one of the oldest showers to have records written of them. The earliest The Lyrids have been observed and reported since 687 BC, and there has not been any that's been on record from that far back.
The sparkling showers started on the 16th, but the peak show will begin just in time on Earth Day through the 22nd. The moon seems to be in competition with the meteors and can make it difficult for the showers to be visible. Nasa's YouTube channel stated the best time to see them would be right before dawn. As the moon starts to fade, the showers will be able to shine through brighter. The Lyrids are next to the star Vega, which is to the east so make sure you look towards that direction! Enjoy everyone!
And for the other treat, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn are going to line up this week! On April 23rd, these four planets will be in alignment AND visible in the northern hemisphere. The last time this happened was in 2020. The best time to view this wonder will be the same as the Lyrid shower, right before dawn, 45 minutes to an hour before sunrise. Mercury will also join in early June, making this a 5 planet conjunction! This will be visible with your naked eye when dark enough and away from any light pollution like city lights. Everyone enjoy and check in if you catch a glimpse!