Many of us at some point in our lives have seen a shooting star flash across a night sky and made a wish. Science has proven these to actually be meteors, so you’ll have an opportunity next week to make plenty of wishes.
The annual Lyrid meteor shower happens every year from about April 14th to the 30th. This year, the shower is expected to pick up sometime late at night on Sunday, April 19, 2020, and most likely peak in the predawn hours on Wednesday, April 22.
This meteor shower both originates and gets its name from the constellation Lyra.The constellation itself is named after an instrument it resembles -the lyre. Greek mythology states that Orpheus, a poet and musician who played the lyre was killed by the Bacchantes who threw his lyre into a river. The king of the gods, Zeus sent an eagle to get the lyre and placed both of them in the sky.
Meteors are nothing but pieces of debris that come towards the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds ranging from 7 to 46 miles per second. Most of the time they vaporize the moment they make contact with our atmosphere, leaving behind a white-hot streak and occasionally they’ll touchdown on Earth leaving a giant crater.
The best place to view meteor showers is anywhere away from city lights. While viewing hours may range, scientists agree that anywhere between 9pm and early dawn are the best times to catch a glimpse.
It’s also suspected, that things will be more visible in the sky this year due to lockdown orders keeping everyone home which in turn cuts back on everyday pollution. With clearer skies and stay-at-home orders still in place, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your stargaze on.
Watch the video below to hear what NASA scientists have to say about the upcoming meteor showers.