Keep Your Eyes on the Sky in April for a Beautiful Meteor Shower
This year is going to be a great year for the annual Lyrids Meteor Shower coming up next month... That is, along as the weather cooperates.
Every year, between April 16th and April 25th is the Lyrids Meteor Shower. This meteor shower usually produces about 15 to 20 meteors per hour, which is pretty decent, and will be quite a few "shooting stars" to see while you're gazing. According to Space.com, this year they're predicting an average of 18 meteors per hour. But that's not why this year is going to be a good year for watching...
It looks like the moon will be working in our favor during the meteor shower this year. April 16th is a "new moon," which means the moon will not be illuminating the sky. Granted, by the 22nd, the moon will be in its First Quarter (and will be decently bright), and by the 25th the moon will be heading closer to a "full moon." BUT, that does give us many days of this meteor shower, where the moon will not be too bright, and won't be making it more difficult to see the shooting stars. Space.com says Sunday, April 22nd is going to be the best day for this meteor shower - Early Sunday morning, before the sun comes up.
So where should you be looking? According to Space.com,
The radiant — the point from which the meteors appear to originate — will be high in the evening sky in the constellation Lyra to the northeast of Vega, one of the brightest stars visible in the night sky this time of year. Don't look directly toward the radiant, though, because you might miss the meteors with the longest tails.
Sure, some years are better when it comes to the moon's brightness and the amount of meteors per hour, but this year is definitely not a bad one for the Lyrids Meteor Shower. And the best part is you don't need telescopes or any special equipment to see this shower. Just go outside, and look up! Now, we just need to hope the weather cooperates and we get clear skies (at least for April 22nd).