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April’s (Meteor) Showers

by Jori Wuerth

 

It’s that time of the year again! Every year in April, the earth moves through the comet trail of C/1861 G1 Thatcher. This comet, sends dust and tiny bits of ice into the atmosphere, leaving a beautiful display of lights dancing across the sky.

The radiant for the Lyrids is near the bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra. This year, the peak viewing hours are expected to take place on Tuesday, April 23, before dawn. The Lyrid meteor shower, which started on April 16, will continue to appear in the sky through Thursday, April 25.

 

Image via NASA.

Avoid the Waning Gibbous Moon

There are many tips and tricks to the best possible viewing of the Lyrids. Some of the easiest ones to remember are staying away from city lights and getting your eyes adapted to the dark. With a bright moon out, be sure to be ready to look in any which way to see the meteors. The Lyrid Meteors are notoriously unpredictable, but when you get the chance to see them it's worth the wait!

Here are a few great spots for viewing the meteor shower:

  • Balboa Park
  • Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
  • San Elijo Park
  • Palomar Observatory
  • Otay Lakes County Park

Keep in mind there are lots of other places to see the meteors. So, grab a blanket and enjoy the yearly festivities of the sky with the Lyrid meteors!