News & Press: Natural world

Lyrids meteor shower

21 April 2020   (0 Comments)
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The night of 21-22 April sees the peak of the meteor shower.

The Lyrid meteor shower takes place annually between 16-25 April as Earth passes through the dust trail left, some hundreds of years ago, by comet ‘Thatcher’.

At its peak, 10-20 meteors per hour are expected to be visible, and since there is a new Moon, it should be a good time to see the meteors.

The shower gets its name because it appears to radiate from an area near the constellation Lyra, the Harp - but the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky.

Comet Thatcher, responsible for the Lyrids shower, takes 415 years to complete a full orbit of the Sun. The last time it visited the inner solar system was in 1861.

Further details from the Natural History Museum