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The Lyrids meteor shower will peak in Chicago on Saturday.  Here’s when to watch – NBC Chicago

If you don’t mind waking up in the middle of the night, you might be able to catch the Lyrids meteor shower twinkling in the Chicago sky early Saturday.

One of the oldest known meteor showers according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the annual spring shower of Lyrids began early Friday, but clouds likely blocked views of Chicago.

Clearer conditions will make it more visible early Saturday.

It will be best seen “under very dark, very bright skies,” reads a blog post on the Adler Planetarium site, peaking at around 10 to 20 meteors per hour.

“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.

When is the best time to see the Lyrids Over Chicago meteor shower?

Experts said the best time to view the iconic shower would be in the early morning darkness.

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

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.

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

The planetarium suggests viewers step away from city lights and face east while looking up. Since showers can spread across the sky, binoculars or telescopes are not necessary.

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.

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

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

“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.

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

Along the lake overlooking Lake Michigan itself, Deanno says.

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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