Lyrid Meteor Shower 2021
After months of a meteor shower drought, April has a rather special treat in the US. The Lyrid meteor shower, which is named after a constellation of shooting stars, will peak on the night of April 21, 2021, and the wee morning hours of April 22. Considered a "medium-strength" meteor shower by the American Meteor Society (AMS), the Lyrid meteor shower often produces a moderate show of 10 to 15 meteors per hour during its peak. This may include bright meteors and occasional fireballs. The majority of the meteors will streak away from a point in the sky near the bright star Vega.
Lyrids are also known to have major outbursts. Such was the case in 1803, the 1920’s and the 1980’s. For instance, Americans saw an impressive 100 Lyrid meteors per hour in 1982, and so did Greek observers in 1922. The next "grand meteor display" from the Lyrids may be in the 2040’s, the AMS said. Although such a major outburst is not expected this year, the Lyrid meteor shower may still be an excellent show to watch. What's more, meteor showers tend to be unpredictable. "We like to say that meteor showers are like fishing. You go out in the country to some scenic spot, and you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. And sometimes you catch something," Deborah Byrd, editor-in-chief of EarthSky.
April’s Pink Moon will be waxing and might interrupt the viewing experience this week. The AMS recommends waiting for the right time to view the meteor shower. According to NASA, the moon will set some 30 minutes before signs of dawn begin to show Thursday morning, so there might only be a "short window" to really view the event with dark skies.
*April 26 - Full Pink Supermoon
Supermoons, look about 16% brighter and 7% larger than average. The full moon in April, also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon or Fish Moon will be a Supermoon!