Canadians across the country will be treated to an awesome light show in the sky, as one of the oldest meteor showers cross the skies this week.
The Lyrid meteor shower is an annual event that occurs every April, typically between the 16th and 25th. It will be the first significant meteor shower since January, with as many as 20 meteors streaking the skies per hour. The Lyrids are typically bright enough that onlookers will not need binoculars or a telescope to see them.
The best time to view the Lyrids will be on the night of April 21 or in the early morning of April 22, when the meteor shower's radiant is highest in the sky. The radiant is the point where the meteors originate from, which, in the case of the Lyrids, is located near the Lyra constellation.
To increase your chances of viewing the Lyrids, make sure to head out to a a place with dark skies and minimal light pollution such as a dark sky reserve (away from the city). There are several dark sky reserves across Canada, and each of them will offer the best backdrops for the light show. Sometimes, the moon brings some natural light pollution that could interfere with the meteor shower, but meteorologists predict that won't be an issue this year.
“The moon will set around midnight on the peak night, making viewing conditions much better during the overnight hours,” said Dave Samuhel of Accuweather Astronomy.
If you happen to miss the Lyrids this year, no worries — another meteor shower called the Eta Aquarids will follow soon after, showing up on April 19 and lasting until May 28 with peak nights on May 5 and 6.