Watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower this week – April 16 to April 26 only

The Lyrid is an annual event, peaking during the pre-dawn hours of April 22.

These are very trying times. As with all things, however, this too shall pass. How consoling these words are in the depths of affliction, as Abraham Lincoln once so eloquently pointed out. They are a reminder that the Earth still goes around the Sun, and that life goes on.

In case we need a visual reminder, the Lyrid meteor shower is in full bloom this week. The Lyrid is an annual event (April 16-26), culminating in its peak during the pre-dawn hours of April 22. This coincides with the new moon on Wednesday, which should greatly aid visibility. In dark sky areas, 15-20 shooting stars should be visible per hour. Expect far fewer to be visible, however, in areas impacted by light pollution.

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The shower’s radiant, the location in the sky where the meteoroids appear to be emanating from, will be the constellation Lyra, hence the name. The shower will start above the eastern horizon during the evening and work its way overhead towards its peak around 4 AM.

The Lyrid is a result of the Earth transiting the debris trail of dust and rocks left behind by Comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher), which last visited the inner Solar System in 1861. Comet C/1861 G1 is a long-period comet that orbits the Sun every 415 years. Its next visit will not be until the year 2276.

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Like life, the ephemeral beauty of the Lyrid is fleeting. Like the indomitable human spirit, however, the perpetual return of the Lyrid is also etched in permanence. Let us enjoy the show this week. For this too shall pass.

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