How To Get A Glimpse Of The Lyrid Meteor Shower [VIDEO]
For more than 2,600 years humanity has watched as year after year the Earth passes through a dusty trail of debris left behind the Comet Thatcher, resulting in the days-long Lyrid meteor shower.
This year, the event can be observed from April 16 to 25 near the constellation Lyra, from which it draws its name. Lyra is located about 7 degrees southwest of the brilliant star Vega, not far from the dimmer Hercules constellation.
Historically, nearly 20 to 25 percent of the shower's meteors leave shining trails in their wake, according to Space.com, and is the believed subject of several accounts dating as far back as 687 B.C. in China.
Unfortunately, due to a bright, nearly-full moon this year, many stargazers were left without much to see during peak hours which took place Sunday night into Monday morning. However, the Lyrid meteor shower tends to be a relatively faint stargazing event, with few exceptions.
These exceptions include the hower that took place in 1922, which hit a rate of 96 meteors per hour and was later matched in 1982 by observers in Florida and Colorado.
As British meteor expert Alastair McBeath writes in the 2013 Astronomical Calendar, "Lyrids give no clues as to when another such outburst might happen, hence the shower is always one to watch."
Want to catch a glimpse? Here are a few things to remember:
1) Allow time for your eyes to adjust. This can take as much as 40 minutes.
2) Try to get away from city lights.
3) NASA suggests not looking directly at the constellation Lyra as doing so would make it look like unimpressive dots with short tails.
4) Dress warm!