L 2019Lyrids are a meteor shower that seems to come from the area of the sky with the constellation of Lyra behind them. They’re photobombing Lyra, if you like!

This post comes from April 2015’s A to Z Challenge.  My theme for this year is flashbacks from my previous seven A to Zs — I hope you enjoy them.

This has some small edits in it so you can use the guide to this year’s meteor shower.

Lyrid Meteor Shower

Meteor showers are the best time to look at the night skies in search of ‘shooting stars’.  Meteors are particles of dust and other space particles that hit the earth’s atmosphere and burn up, causing a stream of light that we can see passing through the atmosphere until it winks out as all the dust is burnt.  These particles are correctly termed meteoroids and micrometeoroids. Most of the ones we see are about the size of a grain of sand.

L2015In April, from 16th to 26th each year, the Earth passes through the trail of the Comet Thatcher. This trail is full of dust, so we get lots of meteors during the period. With some showers it can be as many as one a minute, but the Lyrids peak at about one every 5 minutes.  The concentration of meteors makes it a meteor shower because it seems to come from one place in the sky—in this case near the constellation Lyra, which is why they are called the Lyrids.

So, here we are on the 14th [13th], and the Lyrids will start [Tuesday] night. They peak next [Monday] 22nd and it’ll be all over [by] the following weekend.  You may see a meteor any day, but it’s all a matter of luck, looking in the right place at the right time.

Recipe for successful Lyrid-watching:
  • Find a nice spot with good all-round visibility, but especially in the direction of the constellation Lyra (north-east ish – you need to check a star map for that) and as little light pollution as you can.
  • Select a chair you can lie back in and watch the skies. A deck chair or hammock is ideal, I use a sunbed.
  • Choose a clear night, or one with very little cloud.
  • If you want to make a night of it, make a thermos of hot drink or something similar, and wrap up in blankets or a sleeping bag.  Remember that Lyra moves just like the moon does!
  • If you have a Lyrid party, make sure everyone respects the need to keep your night vision, keep flashlights pointing down or off.
  • Wrap up warm and settle yourself in your chair looking in the right direction
  • You don’t need binoculars or a telescope – these babies move too fast.
  • You could try getting pictures – especially if you have a tripod and can set the camera to take long exposures.
  • Enjoy the natural phenomenon of the Lyrids!

Lyrid meteor shower

Picture credits: Bruce McClure and Joni Hall EarthSky.org

Recipe for successful Lyrid-watching: meteor shower next week! #stargazing #astronomy #atozchallenge L for Lyrids Click To Tweet

Want to know when to watch meteor showers? They happen most months.  Check out the EarthSky meteor shower guide.

This was originally posted on 14th April 2015.  Join in the Flashback Friday meme if you’d like to give some of your posts more love year-round.

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Lyrid Meteor shower | next week #AtoZchallenge
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9 thoughts on “Lyrid Meteor shower | next week #AtoZchallenge

    • 13 April, 2019 at 10:10 pm
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      Fingers crossed the weather stays good enough for it – although our nights are cold (which may also mean clear, so it’s one of those double-edged swords, or something!)

      Reply
    • 14 April, 2019 at 11:13 am
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      Funnily enough, one of the best views I had of the summer meteors (Perseids in August) was walking back from a Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, in the centre of London, through Hyde Park. But it would have been about 10pm.

      Reply
  • 14 April, 2019 at 11:32 am
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    I didn’t know meteor showers were named after their photobombing activities 🙂 I’ll be back next week for the WEP+IWSG post…

    Reply
  • 14 April, 2019 at 12:23 pm
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    I love the flashback theme! And I adore meteor showers. Great post!

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    Reply
  • 26 April, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    Of course, I forgot to look for them till late in the week…. but there was too much moon earlier.

    Reply

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