SAN DIEGO — A massive sky spectacle is expected to take place in the next 24 hours. The annual Lyrid meteor shower will peak Saturday night, but you don’t have to wait until then to catch the fun.
For anyone looking to wish upon a “falling star,” now is your chance. This event will allow you to see up to 20 meteors per hour.
It’s a cosmic show like no other. The Lyrid meteor shower expects to happen as we celebrate Earth Day, and Twyla Robinson is ready for it.
“There is a whole big universe out there. I studied astronomy before and cosmology and there is so much out there,” Robinson said.
According to NASA, the Lyrid meteor shower happens in late April and has been observed for 2,700 years.
“With this small scope under 100 bucks we’ve seen Mars and the rings around Saturn,” Cathy Handzel said.
She is with the San Diego County Chapter of the International Dark Sky and says while meteor showers are not rare International Dark Sky week celebrates what we share above.
“We want to be able to look up and see stars in the skies because it inspires tranquility wonder and in children can inspire an interest in nature and science,” Hanezel said.
The best times to watch, according to NASA, is just before dawn, but this year the moon will only be about 9% full creating more darkness.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Find an area away from city or street lights
- Bring a sleeping bag blanket or chair
- Lie flat on your back
- After 30 mins your eyes will adapt
- Be patient
“A telescope will help but also a pair of binoculars or a small pair of bird watching binoculars. Watch the birds during the day then look at the sky at night,” Handzel said.
Meteors comes from leftover comet particles and bits from broken asteroids.
For this star gazer, she says her phone will be her best tool.
“They have an app for that? Yes for me it’s like having a portable telescope. I can see everything,” Robinson said.