The Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight, Here’s How To View it in Amarillo
I'm a big fan of getting out and seeing the sky. There's just something about finding ways to reconnect with the universe that helps put perspective into things. looking at the constellations and trying to trace out shapes is just something primal. and of course its fun to have someone along to share the experience with
Tonight, the skies are going to give us an incredible treat. It just so happens to be peak viewing for the Lyrid Meteor Shower. The event technically continues through April 30th however with the Moon becoming more full in the next few days it may no longer be possible to view it as the moon will set later and later in the night making the sky too bright to view. So how do we get Lyrids?
Meet Comet Thatcher
Comet Thatcher, like Neowise shown above is one of the many non planetary objects that orbit around in our solar system and when the Earth passes through its debris trail we start to get some of its remnants that safely burn up in our atmosphere as meteors and fireballs. It happens to be a regularly occurring visitor that we see every 415 years and the last visit was back in the mid 1800's. but we pass through its debris trail every spring about this time.
Where and When to Look
If you want to see this celestial light show you need to stay up late, or get up early. We're talking roughly 4:00 to 5:00 in the morning the next two days. Basically after the Moon has set. The best viewing will be in the northeastern skies near the constellation Draco. If you need help here's a handy site to give you a little guidance.
Here in Amarillo viewing might be a little rough with the light pollution but you might see the bigger meteors. Luckily you don't need to get too far. I've got a couple of spots I can recommend
State Highway 207 passes through Palo Duro Canyon. As you make your way down that portion of road there is plenty of Dark Sky there and as you can see there's some good view of the sky. Another spot is along State Highway 256 just north of Caprock Canyon State Park.
Dress warm if you do get out there! We're expecting lows in the mid 30s tonight and if you do manage to get out there give yourself about 20 minutes to get used to the low light.