Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

At their brightest, this weekend's Lyrid meteor shower could mean meteors visible every three minutes over Ireland. NASA
Celestial Fireworks

Meteor shower will be visible from Ireland this weekend

Earth is about to move into a cloud of dust and debris left by a comet – treating us to one of the best meteor showers this week.

ONE OF THE most striking meteor showers in recent times will be visible over Ireland this weekend, as Earth moves into a cloud of celestial dust left behind by a comet.

This weekend will see the planet move into debris left by the trail of Comet Thatcher, some of which will enter into Earth’s atmosphere and begin to burn up – causing a meteor shower overhead.

Astronomy Ireland says the shower is already visible, but will be clearest on Saturday night through Sunday morning – and that at their brightest peak, meteors may be seen every three minutes – that is, up to 20 times per hour.

This estimate could prove to be a conservative one, however: the meteor shower in question, known as the Lyrids, has been known to glow quite brightly, and sometimes experience a major outburst where meteors can been seen every 20 seconds.

This weekend should also provide an optimal time to see the Lyrids, as there will be no moon to cause a glare. Astronomy Ireland says there will also be no need to use a telescope or binoculars – as the meteors are bright enough to see with the naked eye.

“The Moon will be out of the way so it is definitely worth going outside to try to see some Lyrids for what has proved to be a stunning meteor shower throughout the years and decades,” Astronomy Ireland’s David Moore said.

“Sometimes large pieces of debris enter the atmosphere and flare up extremely brightly as fireballs – these can often land on the ground!

Astronomy Ireland has asked any interested parties to assist in compiling a Nationwide Lyrid Watch, with details of how to participate available on its website.

What does the cockpit of a space shuttle look like?

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
17
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.