A Stunning Meteor Shower Will Send Fireballs Streaking Across Night Sky Next Week

A Stunning Meteor Shower Will Send Fireballs Streaking Across Night Sky Next Week

Known as one of the oldest meteor showers in recorded human history, the Lyrid showers can be dated 2,700 years back.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is beauty in every level. Be it the smallest sub-atomic particles to the comets appearing in our skies once in a while, to the largest cluster of galaxies or the huge clouds of nebula. The universe is a masterpiece and when it comes to describing its beauty, even scientists fall short of words. As we are living in the age of scientific advancement, it is easier for us to witness a few celestial spectacles and one such event is coming our way soon which will make the avid stargazers very happy. 



Most of us, at least once in our lifetime, have looked up to the sky and seen a swift streak light dash through the night sky. These sudden appearances of light stunned the scientists for a long time until they made the discovery that these celestial bodies are meteors, more commonly known as shooting stars, (yes, the same ones that we have made our wishes upon seeing them dart across the sky). Meteors are nothing but pieces of debris that come towards the Earth's atmosphere and since they dart towards Earth at a speed of 7 to 46 miles per second, most of them get vaporized the moment they make contact with our atmosphere, leaving behind a white-hot streak. 



Well, avid stargazers have something to look forward to on Tuesday, April 21, where the Lyrid meteor shower is expected to hit its peak, reported Penn Live. It isn't the biggest astronomical show of the year, but this celestial event is known to send a rather significant bunch of shooting stars through our night sky, giving it the appearance of fireballs in the night sky. This year, it is expected that we can see about 10-15 meters when it is at its peak. Occasionally, a Lyrid meteor shower is also seen sending as many as 60-100 meteors per hour, but it is not expected to happen this year. 



The best time to view the event is when the meteor shower is at its peak. Scientists have estimated early mornings of April 20 and April 22 is the best time to have a look at the night sky to catch the meteor shower at its best. The night sky is expected to be relatively darker and our moon will also be moving towards its new phase, a day after the peak meteor showers.



Meteor showers can appear anywhere in the sky, but the direction of their motion is usually away from the constellation it is named after. The meteor shower is named Lyrid primarily because they appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra in the northeastern night sky. Scientists have also mentioned that any viewing of the night sky from a dark location is a good viewing location. 



Most meteoroids range between the size of singular sand grains or pebbles. But our planet Earth is no stranger to witnessing a large meteor occasionally that survives its descent and falls on Earth. Scientifically speaking, any meteor that appears brighter than any of the stars and planets is called a fireball. Their sudden appearance and fast movement give us the illusion that they are much closer than they appear.   



Known as one of the oldest meteor showers in recorded human history, the Lyrid showers are dated as much as 2,700 years back. Comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1) is the source of the Lyrid Meteor showers and these showers happen because each year in April, Earth passes through the debris stream left by the comet. This debris then travels to the upper atmosphere of Earth at a speed of 110,000 miles per hour and burn up when they reach 60 miles within the Earth's atmosphere. 

Recommended for you