Watching the Skies: 1st meteor shower of 2021 peaks this week

Watching The Skies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There are several opportunities to view meteor showers during the summer and fall months.

Once the new year begins, however, there are several months with no meteor showers to look forward to at all. 

Thankfully, that all changes in April. The Lyrid meteor shower is the first meteor shower in 2021, and the peak will arrive this week. 

The Lyrids are normally active from mid- to late- April. During the peak, about 10-15 meteors per hour will be possible. 

This year, the peak of the Lyrids will arrive early in the morning on April 22. There will be a chance to see the meteors from now until around April 25. 

The moon is currently waxing, meaning it’s getting bigger and brighter with each passing night. Moonlight will make it slightly harder to see the meteors. Because of this, it’s a good idea to look for meteors after the moon has set.

Moonset on April 22 is just before 5 a.m., leaving a narrow window between moonset and dawn for optimal meteor viewing.

For the best viewing experience, head away from city lights. The radiant point of the Lyrid meteors is the constellation Lyra the Harp, but you don’t have to identify the constellation to see the meteors. Just look up. 

A thin waxing crescent moon was visible last week. Jessica Ash captured an incredible photo of it. The next full moon will occur on April 27. 

A thin waxing crescent moon visible in West Michigan. (Courtesy: Jessica Ash)

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