.

Lyrid Meteor Shower 2013 Peak: Where and When to Watch

The Lyrids can be unpredictable -- often in great ways.

The Lyrid meteor shower will make its 2013 debut Tuesday in the skies above Alexandria—and of all the year’s many shows in the heavens, this is one to catch.

The skies have been largely empty of visible meteor showers since the Quadrantids of early January, but the shooting stars of the Lyrids have been a reliable spectacle for about 2,600 years.

The Lyrids meteor shower peaks in 2013 on April 21 and 22, but some meteors may be visible beginning Tuesday (April 16). You can see what to look for in this video of the Lyrid meteor shower. Or check out photos of the Lyrids. And these charts of the Lyrids may help you locate the shooting stars.

The Northern Virginia Astronomy Club has more on the Lyrids.

The Lyrids tend to be bright and often leave trails and tend to peak at about 10-20 meteors per hour. One of the unpredictable aspects of this shower, though, is that it’s known for uncommon surges that sometimes result in up to 100 shooting stars per hour.

Do you have a favorite spot to watch meteor showers in Alexandria? Let us know in the comments!

Virginia has some history with the Lyrids. Back in 1803, a journalist in Virginia observed one of those surges and wrote that the outburst, “...alarmed many and astonished every person that beheld it. From 1 in the morning until 3 in the morning, those starry meteors seemed to fall from every point in the heavens, in such numbers to resemble a sower of sky rockets...”

A downside certainly exists this year: The moon will be bright until a couple of hours before dawn. Still, the greatest number of shooting stars tend to come after the moon departs anyway, so the show could still make getting up early worth it.

Let’s just hope the clouds cooperate. Tuesday's weather forecast for Alexandria calls for partly cloudy skies.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something