LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Early morning risers could be in for quite a treat this week as the annual Lyrid meteor shower is taking place.
Like all meteor showers, the Lyrids meteor shower starts off with a comet, more specifically the trail of dust and debris that the comet leaves behind in its orbit.
In this case, the comet Thatcher orbits the earth every 416 years, but we will pass through the trail of debris left over from the comet on an annual basis.
This is what creates the Lyrids meteor shower. The small bits of debris burn up as they fall through our atmosphere, creating the well-known “shooting star” appearance.
This meteor shower will last until April 25, but the peak or the best day to view the meteor will be Saturday, April 22
Astronomy experts from Michigan State University said that this is when we have the chance of seeing up to 20 meteors per hour in the most ideal conditions.
If you wish to venture outside to catch a glimpse, there is no special equipment needed, but experts say to head out a few hours before sunrise. Try not to turn on any lights, to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark. Look towards the east, grab a chair, a blanket, a hot beverage and get comfortable.
Keep in mind that areas with a lot of light pollution like city centers will make it more difficult, but not impossible to view the showers. If you do see a meteor it will look like a very quick streak of light across the sky.
Also important to remember that the number of up to 20 meteors per hour is derived from what is possible with perfect vision and the most ideal circumstances.
More than likely, you will only see a handful, even if you are out for the whole night.
But that makes it much more special when you do spot a meteor. So, if you happen to catch a glimpse of one, don’t forget to make a wish!