Apr 16, 2024 - News

How to see the Lyrid meteor shower in Seattle

A view of the Lyrid meteor shower from the Earth's atmosphere.

The annual Lyrid meteor shower, which appears this year April 15–29, lights up the night sky. Photo: Daniel Reinhardt/dpa/AFP via Getty Images

With clear nights in the forecast later this week, Seattle stargazers may get a chance to see one of the world's oldest known meteor showers.

Why it matters: The annual Lyrid meteor shower, known for its fast, bright displays, ends the meteor drought that occurs each year between January and mid-April, according to EarthSky.

Driving the news: The shower — which has been observed for more than 2,700 years — began Monday, is expected to peak on April 22 at 2:23am Pacific time and ends on April 29.

Fun fact: Observers may see 10 to 15 Lyrids per hour, but occasionally the shower produces a surge of up to 100 meteor sightings an hour, per EarthSky.

Zoom in: The Lyrid shower occurs every April when the Earth passes through a trail of debris and dust emitted from Comet Thatcher during its 415-year orbit around the Sun.

How to watch: Many local astronomers head to Mount Si, Gold Creek Pond at Snoqualmie Pass or other local mountaintops for important celestial events, but that's not practical for most.

  • NASA recommends finding an area away from city lights or streetlights and setting up a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.
  • Be patient — it takes about 30 minutes in the dark for your eyes to adapt.
  • The shower "rises" before midnight and is highest in the sky at dawn.

Go deeper: Media showers rain clues about the solar system

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