The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks late tonight, 22 April 2020, into the wee hours of 23 April — and it will be visible here in the Philippines! According to PAGASA, the most ideal viewing time will be from midnight until around 4 to 5am.
Keep an eye out between 10pm and midnight for earth grazers — long, bright shooting stars that move slower as they streak horizontally across the sky. During peak time (12am onwards), we’ll be able to see about 10 to 20 meteors per hour. To add to all this, it’s been said that views should be particularly better than usual tonight because of the new moon (this means that the sky will be extra dark!).
Tips for viewing
If you live outside the metro, expect gorgeous views outside your window tonight! Those in the city will still be able to view the Lyrid meteor shower, though this scene will certainly be affected by light pollution.
Regardless of where you are, turn your lights and screens off at least 30 minutes before you plan to check out the meteor shower. This way, you can allow your eyes to adjust to the dark so you can more easily spot the meteors!
So, what exactly is the Lyrid meteor shower?
Also known as the April Lyrids, it is one of the oldest known meteor showers — its records go back as far as 2,700 years! It actually takes its name from a constellation called Lyra the Harp, as the Lyrids’ radiance is located close to its brightest star, Vega.
The Lyrid meteor shower takes place around this time every year; and what happens exactly is that the earth’s orbit crosses paths with that of the Comet Thatcher. When this occurs, the comet loses bits and pieces of itself and they fly into the earth’s upper atmosphere at 110,000 miles per hour!
Also read: 12 Philippine Destinations for Stargazing and Milky Way Sightings
Will you be catching the Lyrid meteor shower tonight? Don’t forget to take pictures! We’d love to see them, so make sure to tag us at @tripzillaph!
Featured image credit: sugarbear96 | Flickr.