lyrid meteor shower

Lyrids Meteor Shower Will Be Visible in Chicago This Week. Here's How to Watch

Skygazers will have a chance to watch the shower streak the sky

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The first meteor fall of the spring is set to start its celestial firework show this week.

The Lyrids meteor shower will blaze at the end of this week and should be visible across the Chicago area, depending on cloud coverage, according to the city's Adler Planetarium.

The shower will peak at about 10 to 20 meteors per hour, which is a fairly average count for showers, "under very dark, very clear skies."

However, the Lyrids are expected to peak during the daylight hours this year, according to the planetarium. 

So, when can you catch the out-of-this-world sight? 

Experts said the best time to gaze at the iconic shower will be in the early morning darkness Friday or Saturday.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will be visible from the U.S. for the last time until 2045.

"The Moon rises two to three hours after midnight on those dates, which will blot some of the fainter meteors from view," the planetarium said online.

The planetarium also suggested that viewers should stray away from city lights and face east while looking up. Since showers can stretch across the sky, binoculars or telescopes are not needed.

According to the American Meteor Society, the meteors are "caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories."

The society noted that both the Lyrids, peaking this week, and the eta Aquariids, peaking May 4-5, showers are some of the most visible, should the time and moonlight conditions allow.

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