The 2017 Lyrid Meteor Shower will be taking place throughout the week. This annual event will occur from April 16 thru April 25. However, its peak will be on April 21st and 22nd or Friday and Saturday nights. The best time to view it is just before dawn. Try to avoid light pollution from cities and other human-related structures.
2017 Lyrid Meteor Shower About to Peak
The nighttime spectacle occurs as the Earth passes through the trail with every revolution. On a clear night with little interference, dozens of meteors can be seen streaking through the atmosphere, burning up in a final descent.
The Northern Hemisphere promises the best show, particularly in Europe. Avoiding other sources of light, looking just before dawn, and getting lucky with clear weather are all good ways to best enjoy this phenomenon. Binoculars or telescopes will just get in the way and are unnecessary.
The light from the “shooting stars” is created by the ionization of particles in the meteor as it burns from the friction caused by striking Earth’s atmosphere at such high relative velocity. Ionized gas glows within the full spectrum, and the Lyrids are known as one of the more colorful meteor showers. The particles range from the size of dust to the size of basketballs, so there is no danger of any of them striking the ground.
Looking ahead at the astronomical chart, the full moon is likely to obscure some of biggest meteor events of this year. The 2017 Lyrid Meteor Shower may be the best time to see shooting stars until the Orionids arrive later this fall.
“It would be best to face towards the northern half of the sky with the moon at your back.” This is according to an AMS recommendation for better enjoying the nigttime spectacle.