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Here’s the best place in Chicago to see this weekend’s Lyrids meteor shower – NBC Chicago

The Lyrids meteor shower, the first meteor shower of spring, is expected to light up Chicago skies on Friday and Saturday.

The annual meteor shower is best viewed “under very dark, very clear skies,” reads a blog post on the Adler Planetarium website. And as long as the skies above Chicago aren’t too cloudy, the Lyrids, known for their fast, bright meteors, will leave a visible, bright dust trail during their streak.

One of the oldest known meteor showers according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the annual spring shower of Lyrids is expected to be visible April 22-23 in the Chicago area, peaking at around 10-20 meteors per hour. .

The Lyrids meteor shower lights up the skies of Chicago this weekend. This is the best time to watch

“This year, the Lyrids are expected to peak during the day light hours of April 22; so the best times to watch for Lyrid meteors this year are most likely during early morning darkness on April 22, and again during early morning darkness on April 23,” the planetarium says.

Experts said the best time to view the iconic shower will be in the dark early morning Friday or Saturday.

Will Chicago skies be clear enough for you to see the Lyrid meteor shower?

According to timeanddate.com, a website that documents and predicts how to watch celestial events around the world, visibility will be “good” Friday night and “excellent” Saturday night.

That’s partly because there’s a much better chance of clear skies on Saturday, NBC Chicago meteorologist Paul Deanno said, though neither night is “ideal” to watch the rain. of meteors.

From 9:03 p.m. Friday evening, visibility will be “very good”, then will change to “excellent” around 9:30 p.m. Visibility is expected to remain “excellent” until early Saturday around 3:00 a.m.

Where is the best place in Chicago to see the Lyrids meteor shower?

“This meteor shower will be harder to see here in Chicago, because you have to look east, and many suburbs are west of Chicago, which means you’ll be looking right over the city – and of all its lights – to see the meteors,” Deanno said.

The planetarium echoes this sentiment, suggesting viewers move away from city lights and face east while looking up.

Since showers can spread across the sky, binoculars or telescopes are not necessary.

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

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

According to Deanno, it would be along the lake overlooking Lake Michigan itself.

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

The company noted that the Lyrids, peaking this week, and the eta Aquariids, peaking May 4-5, showers are among the most noticeable, weather and moonlight conditions permitting.

NBC Chicago

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