The meteor shower of Lírida returns: what you need to know about the starry show in April

Stargazers will appreciate these April rains.

The night skies in the northern hemisphere will shine with the meteors this month, as the Lyrid meteor shower is presented in a spectacular display, with 10 to 20 meteors per hour at its peak.

"The number of meteors can vary, and very rarely" storm ", but on a very dark and moonless night there are usually up to 20 good meteors per hour," according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The Lyrid meteor shower has been reported for 2,700 years, making it one of the oldest meteor showers in history. It arrives on Earth around April 16 and is expected to last until April 28.

Here you have everything you need to know about the starry show.

How are meteors formed?

Manish Mamtani

Manish Mamtani
(A meteor forms when a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere).

A meteor is formed when a meteoroid, a type of space rock that detaches itself from an asteroid, a rocky body that orbits around the sun, enters the Earth's atmosphere. As soon as the space debris crosses, they break down into what scientists call a "meteor", which then vaporizes and, as a result of friction, appears as a bright light of light in the sky.

"Because of their appearance, these veins of light that some people call meteorite shooting stars," NASA explains in an online blog post. "But scientists know that meteors are not stars at all, they're just pieces of rock!"

What is a Lyrid meteor, specifically?

The Lyrid meteors are small pieces of rock that separated from the Thatcher comet.

The Lyrid meteors are small pieces of rock that separated from the Thatcher comet.
(Brian Emfinger)

"The Lyrid meteors are small pieces of rock that come off the comet Thatcher," a long-period comet that orbits the Sun once every 415 years, "reports

The Earth crosses the path of Comet Thatcher every year around April, which causes a meteor "rain" to fall from the sky when it hits "a trail of comet crumbs," the space site explains.

"If you see a meteor … see if it leaves a persistent train, that is, a trace of ionized gas that shines for a few seconds after the meteor has pbaded, about a quarter of the Lyrid meteors leave persistent trains", suggests EarthSky.

What is a meteor "rapture"?

Occasionally, a meteor shower turns into a storm, dropping up to 1,000 meteors per hour. However, this occurrence is rare and, often, difficult to predict.

"People say there is a certain periodicity there, but the data does not support it," NASA meteorite expert Bill Cooke told, adding that these so-called "outbursts" are usually at least 30 years old. difference.

When can I see the Lyrid meteor shower?

Bill Allen

Bill Allen
(Catch the Lyrid meteor shower at its peak on April 22).

You can see meteorites in the sky until April 25, although the rain reaches its peak just before dawn, 12 a.m. at 5 a.m., on April 23, according to EarthSky.

How can I see it?

Unlike solar eclipses, which require special equipment to see the astrological event, you do not need anything to detect this celestial event.

"Get to a dark place, get comfortable, bring extra blankets to stay warm and let your eyes adjust to the dark sky," NASA suggests. "A comfortable armchair is a great seat, just like lying on a blanket, with your eyes peeking all over the sky."

The meteors will begin to form around the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra, which has the shape of a harp. However, NASA recommends focusing on a place in the sky away from the constellation, since "they will look longer and more spectacular from this perspective."

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