The lyrids are an astronomical highlight that is visible to the naked eye. We explain when and where you can see the shooting stars.
Munich – We owe the biggest shooting star night in April 2021 to the Lyriden. This meteor shower comes reliably every April and offers astro fans the chance to observe falling stars in the night sky for several days. The lyrids are visible all over the northern hemisphere – and thus also in Germany. Parts of the southern hemisphere can also look forward to the sight.
Shooting Star Night in April 2021: When will the Lyrids come?
The lyrids can be seen at the same time every year, and so are we from April 16 to 25, 2021 look forward to you again. So there is more than one shooting star night this month, but the Lyrids also reach her on a known date maximum. On the night of April 22nd to 23rd most shooting stars can be seen in the sky. This year it is a night from Thursday to Friday.
Why does the Lyrids meteor shower bring the shooting stars every April?
The falling stars of the Lyrids are fragments of the comet C / 1861 G1 (Thatcher), which is also in an orbit around the sun. When one of the fragments burns up in the earth’s atmosphere, observers see the result: the typically glowing tail on the inside of the earth. Every year the earth crosses the course of this meteor shower. That is why the Lyrids have a fixed date in the year. This phenomenon was already known in antiquity, even if the cosmic causes were still unknown at the time.
There are more recurring meteor showers throughout the year. For example, the Quadrantids could be seen in January. Previously it was the Geminids in December.
Watching the lyrids: where in the sky can the shooting stars be seen?
As always, the view of the meteor shower depends on the weather. When the sky is full of clouds, there may be no view of the lyrids at all. When the view is clear, however, there is a clear line of sight that you can use to orient yourself. In this case, the radian – the point from which the shooting stars appear in the sky – lies in the constellation Lyra. Hence the name of the lyrids.
The lyre is rather small and therefore may not be easy to find. Orient yourself in a southerly direction and look for the brightest star there. That is the “Vega”, which also belongs to this constellation. If you look exactly in the direction of the radiant, you can see the falling stars particularly well.
When and where: What time do the lyrids light up?
There is no such thing as “the best time” for the lyrids. At their maximum from April 22nd to April 23rd, 2021, they can be seen all night. However, not in the very high frequency that some other meteor streams bring with them. Ten to 20 shooting stars per hour are expected. In addition to the good weather, it is more important that you find a place with little light around you for observation. In the middle of the city it is harder to see shooting stars than in the country. (rm)
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