The Lyrids Meteor Shower Will Light Up The Sky Over Quebec In April
Here are NASA's viewing tips.
A meteor shower will light up night skies in the Northern Hemisphere in mid-April. The Lyrids, so named because, from Earth, they appear to shoot out of the constellation Lyra, will be visible between April 15 and 24 but will peak between April 21 and 22, according to the Société d’astronomie du Planétarium de Montréal.
According to NASA, the shower occurs when Earth passes through the tail of the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. What NASA calls the comet's "debris" enters and burns up in the atmosphere at speeds of 49 kilometres per second in a spectacular annual display.
During peak dates, the administration says up to 20 meteors stream across the sky per hour.
The U.S. government agency also shares some viewing tips online. They include travelling to an open area with little light pollution and lying down on the ground facing east. It could take up to 30 minutes for human eyes to adjust to the darkness and be able to best perceive shooting stars, NASA says.
Though it might be a struggle to even keep your eyes open. The optimal viewing time is after the moon sets and before the sun rises.
If you're looking for the perfect stargazing spot in Quebec, NASA has a handy add-on that lets you compare what's called the "shower rate" for any given location. "It also allows you to see the difference between staying downtown or moving out into the country side to a dark and clear location," the administration says.
The International Dark-Sky Association also keeps a map of participating locations. Quebec's Mont-Mégantic is on the list.