An incredibly bright meteor shower is coming to Sydney

The annual Lyrid meteor shower will rain down across the globe in April

Adena Maier
Maya Skidmore
Meteor shower over horizon
Photograph: Fernando Rodrigues/Creative Commons

Sydney. If getting starstruck by celestial happenings is your thing, prepare to have your mind blown by the annual Lyrid meteor shower that’s coming at us in April 2023. In April every year, a torrent of blazing meteors whiz across the sky and burn in the atmosphere, creating otherworldly flashes of light. This annual shower will be visible across the world from April 16 to 25, 2023, and will be at its peak for Australian (and Sydney-residing) stargazers from April 22 to 23. 

The Lyrids are one of the oldest recorded meteor showers in human history, with some historical Chinese texts mentioning their existence more than 2,500 years ago. The fireballs you see in this shower are created by debris from the Comet Thatcher, and at their most active, you’ll see up to 20 shooting stars per hour. But, even if you’re looking up outside of peak time, it’s highly likely you’ll see the occasional flash of light illuminating the sky. 

Sadly for all us Southern Hemisphere dwellers, the Lyrid shower will not be as radiant and intense as it is for our Northern Hemisphere brethren. This being said, we’ll still get a pretty good look at it all (weather conditions dependent) after midnight on April 22, or a few hours before sunrise on April 23. You’ll get the best vantage point if you turn your feet towards the northern part of our sky, and look 45 degrees above the horizon. If you’re lost, this interactive map can tell you exactly where to look. 

The best part about the Lyrids? You don’t need any special equipment or astronomical skills to view this meteor shower – just make sure to give your eyes enough time to adjust to the darkness. Keep in mind that Lyrid meteors are relatively fast but, on the plus side, they are surprisingly bright. 

Happy meteor watching!

Do the star shower in style at one Sydney's six best stargazing spots. 

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