Lyrid meteor shower 2022 UK: what is shooting star spectacle, when is its peak, best place and time to witness
Observers can expect to see a display of bright, fast meteors, but the number you will be able to see will depend on visibility conditions
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Taking place every April, the meteor shower has been watched by people around the world for 2,500 years.
One of the most unpredictable meteor showers, the Lyrids are known for surges that can see high rates of meteors per hour.
Here is everything you need to know about the Lyrid meteor shower and when is the best time to watch it in the UK.
When is the Lyrid meteor shower?
The Lyrid meteor shower started on 14 April and is expected to end on 30 April.
The nights when the display will be at its brightest are called the peak days and they will occur on 22 and 23 April. On these peak days you can expect to see 18 meteors per hour.
How can you watch the Lyrid meteor shower?
There’s no need to invest in a telescope or binoculars as the meteor shower is visible to the naked eye.
Observers can expect to see a display of bright, fast meteors, but the number you will be able to see will depend on visibility conditions.
The best way to view the shower is to watch it somewhere that is not contaminated by light pollution and gives you a clear picture of the night’s sky. However factors such as the time of night, weather and moonlight will all influence your visibility.
When is the best time to see the Lyrid meteor shower in the UK?
According to the Greenwich Royal Observatory, the best time to see the Lyrid meteor shower in the UK is during the early morning of the two peak days.
The Royal Observatory recommends that you wait until after midnight for best visibility, as the radiant point in the constellation of Lyra will have risen high in the east, giving you a better view of the horizon.
What is the weather forecast for the Lyrid meteor shower?
The Met Office have predicted some cloud for 22 April, stating: “Low cloud in some eastern areas tending to disperse, leaving sunshine across many northern areas; fairly warm in the northwest. Southern parts of UK, cloudier and cooler, scattered afternoon showers.”
Saturday is expected to have “sunny spells and scattered showers,” impacting those “especially in the east and south.”
However, even with perfect weather, conditions to view the Lyrid meteor shower this year are not favourable.
The peak days of the shower take place two days before the last quarter moon, which means that even with the best conditions, you are going to miss meteors due to the brightness of the moonlight.
What is the Lyrid meteor shower?
The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest known meteor showers, having been first observed in ancient China in 687BC.
The shower occurs when the Lyrids pass through the trail of debris left by the Thatcher Comet. The display takes place every year during the month of April and is known for its bright displays and strong surges.