There are fewer more comforting, blissful things to do than stare up at the cosmos, watching stars glimmer and meteors whizz by. And over the next couple of weeks, stargazers are in for a treat. From April 14 to April 30, the Lyrid meteor show will light up skies worldwide.
Meteors or shooting stars are celestial debris which burn up as they hit the Earth’s atmosphere, turning into beautiful, sparkling flashes of light. Traditionally, the Lyrid meteor shower is one of the most spectacular cosmic displays in the astronomy calendar. The Lyrids appear for ten or so nights every April, and are visible all around the world.
In 2022 the after-dark show kicks off tonight (April 14), and will peak on the night of April 22 to 23, when you might be able to see a shooting star stream across the sky every four minutes – given clear skies, of course.
Luckily, this year’s Lyrids will combine with a last quarter moon, meaning that conditions are ideal for spotting some meteors. Assuming cloud-free weather, they should be visible worldwide and without need for any special equipment. So if you’re awake after dark, it’s worth looking up and trying to spot the odd magical streak of fire across the sky.
Now mark your calendar for the rest of 2022’s shooting stars, eclipses, meteor showers and planetary alignments.