You can see about 10-15 meteors per hour!
The month of April is full of several exciting and rare astronomical phenomena, the soonest of which will occur early Thursday morning on April 22, 2021.
The Lyrid Meteor Shower is a famous event occurring annually in April, and it reaches its peak nearly every year on April 22. You can expect to see about 10-15 meteors per hour shooting across the night sky! The “Lyrid fireballs” have been mentioned in reports dating back to 687 B.C., making this the oldest recorded meteor shower.
According to EarthSky.org, the Lyrids are significant for breaking the “meteor drought” that occurs each year from January to April. The Lyrids are active from April 16 to 25, and the best viewing times will be in the predawn hours on Thursday, April 22, and Friday, April 23.
This year, the moon will be fairly bright in the sky, but will set before predawn hours. The best time to catch it, then, will be between moonset and dawn. MoonInfo.org tell us that Chicago’s moonset will occur at 03:30 am and sunrise will occur at 06:03 am.
So, between those hours, try to get somewhere with low light pollution and bring a jacket, coffee, and whatever else you might need! Check out this light pollution map to help you plan your morning.
Can’t get enough astronomy? Don’t miss these other 2 exciting celestial events, coming very soon!
- April 26: Super Pink Moon. This is the first supermoon of the year, and the highlight of astronomical events in April! A supermoon is a full moon that coincides with the moon’s closest orbital point to Earth (the perigee), making it 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than when at its further point from Earth (the apogee). Don’t expect the moon to turn pink, however. The “super pink moon” is so named because Native American tribes saw it mark the appearance of the spring flower “ground phlox.”
- May 26: Total Lunar Eclipse. Normally, supermoons occur 14 months apart, but we will see 2 in quick succession this year – one on April 26, and one on May 26. The moon will appear blood-red in the sky as it’s obscured by the Earth’s shadow during the Total Lunar Eclipse happening at the same time.
[Featured Image from Instagram / @adventure_photo]