lyrid meteor shower

The Lyrids Meteor Shower Will be Visible in Chicago Saturday, and Here's the Best Place to See it

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The annual meteor shower that's best viewed "under very dark, very clear skies," the Adler Planetarium says, will leave a visible, glowing dust train over the Chicago skyline Saturday.

And as long as the skies over Chicago aren't too cloudy, you'll be able to see it -- from some locations better than others.

One of the oldest known meteor showers according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the annual springtime Lyrids shower is expected to be visible April 23 in the Chicago area, with a peak of around 10 to 20 meteors per hour.

The shower streaked the sky early Friday as well, but cloud cover made visibility difficult.

Will the Chicago Sky be Clear Enough For You to See the Lyrid Meteor Shower Saturday?

According to timeanddate.com, a website that documents and predicts how to watch celestial events across the world, the visibility will be "excellent" overnight on Saturday.

That's partly because there's a good chance for clear enough skies to see the shower, NBC Chicago meteorologist Paul Deanno says

Beginning around 9:03 p.m. Friday night, visibility will be "very good," and then shift to "excellent" around 9:30 p.m.

Visibility is expected to remain "excellent" until early Saturday, around 3:00 a.m.

Since showers can stretch across the sky, binoculars or telescopes are not needed.

Where's Best Place in Chicago to See the Lyrids Meteor Shower?

The two biggest tips from the Planetarium are easier said than done: Stay away from city lights, and look east.

"This meteor shower will be tougher to see here in Chicago, because you have to look east, and many suburbs are west of Chicago, meaning you’ll be looking right over the city – and all of its lights – to view the meteors," Deanno says.

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

So what's the best place to go to see the shower, without the distraction of the city lights?

According to Deanno, it would be along the lakefront looking over Lake Michigan itself

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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