Did you know, we’re in the middle of a week-long meteor shower? The Lyrid Meteor Shower happens every April, with this year’s peak occurring in just a few days. 


Start your day in a cosmic way this Thursday morning. Set your alarm early (we’re talking 4am), head out to the backyard or balcony and gaze up at the night sky. You might just catch the peak of the Lyrid Meteor Shower. With a prediction of around 18 meteors flying through the sky every hour around 4am, the odds of you seeing the heavens light up are pretty good. 


What is the Lyrid Meteor Shower?

Named after the Lyra star constellation which is in the direction the meteors seem to come from, the Lyrid Meteor Shower is pretty much the oldest meteor shower on record. A sighting of it was mentioned in historical Chinese texts over 2,500 years ago! Phwooaaar!

The comet that the meteors come from, known as Thatcher, takes its sweet time orbiting the sun (just a casual 415 years) so won’t be visible again until 2276. Best not to wait up for it. 


What actually is a meteor?

A meteor is an object from space, anything from a speck of dust to an asteroid, that enters the Earth’s atmosphere at phenomenally high speed and burns up, creating a bright light and leaving a streak across the night sky. In the case of the Lyrid Meteor Shower, the meteors are small pieces of rock that have fallen from a comet. 


How can I see the meteor shower?

There’s no special equipment or skills needed to see these flaming balls of debris. Just a comfy patch of grass to rest your head, some patience and a star-gazing buddy. Give yourself around 20 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to the darkness.

Obviously it’s ideal to distance yourself from artificial light as much as possible, but now’s not the time to be traipsing into the bush. The balcony or backyard will have to do for now. Lucky there’s always next year!


Feature photo by @sjperkins