Â Following the first of the four Blood Moons, now, comes theÂ Lyrid meteor shower 2014 Â with peak dates, April 21 and 22, with a sneak preview already underway.
The Lyrids is the first major meteor shower since theÂ QuadrantidsÂ in early January each year, and the Lyridsâ€™ peak tends to be short-lived. And this year, a bright moon may obscure much of the show.
Still, you might also see meteors before and after that date since weâ€™re crossing the Lyrid meteor stream from now until April 26.
And there’s more good news: While you can expect to see 10-20 meteors per hour on the peak morning, the Lyrids often surprise, sometimes raining meteors at a rate of up to 100 per hour.
Earthsky.org tells us theÂ Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest known to man, going back some 2,700 years.Â The ancient Chinese are said to have observed the Lyrid meteors â€œfalling like rainâ€ in the year 687 BC.
The usual viewing tips apply: Find a dark place, away from light pollution, bundle up, look up, and enjoy the show. Lyrid meteors are known for their luminous dust trains, which can be observable for several seconds.
And NASA’sÂ tip for watching the Lyrid meteor shower 2014 version is to take a look after moonset Â and before dawn on 23 April.
Fast Facts from NASA:
- Comet of Origin: C/1861 G1 Thatcher
- Radiant: constellation Lyra
- Active: 16-25 April 2014
- Peak Activity: 21-22 April 2014
- Peak Activity Meteor Count: 20 meteors per hour
- Meteor Velocity: 49 km (30 miles) per second