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The Lyrid meteor shower reaches its peak this week just before the full pink moon

The Lyrid meteor shower reaches its peak this week just before the full pink moon

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Lyrid meteors burn across the sky over Panamint Springs, California, on April 24, 2023. This year, the shower will be most active Sunday night into the early morning hours of Monday.

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the Total solar eclipse It has come and gone, but skygazers have a reason to keep looking — a meteor shower will peak this week right before the full moon. The orb may be stealing some of the lyres' thunder, but experts have some tips on the best way to view the celestial spectacle.

The Lyrid meteor shower will be most active Sunday night into the early morning hours of Monday, according to… American Meteor Society. April's full moon, also known as the pink moon, reaches the top of its full phase at 2:00 p.m 7:49 PM ET Tuesday.

During the peak of the Lyres, spectators typically catch a glimpse of up to 18 meteors per hour, but this year the brightness of the moon will interfere with the view of faint meteors. The shower will be more visible to people in the Northern Hemisphere, said Ashley King, a postdoctoral researcher in planetary science at the Natural History Museum in London. He explained that the Lyrics radiation, or the point from which meteors appear to shoot, will not rise high enough in the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere to see high rates of meteors.

King added that night owls aiming to view the lyres would need to allow their eyes to adjust by being outside for at least 10 to 15 minutes before trying to spot the meteor. Because meteors can appear all over the sky, experts do not recommend using a telescope or binoculars due to the devices' small fields of view. According to NASA.

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“The best time to go out (to see the meteor) is early in the morning before sunrise,” King said. “If you can get into a dark place and maybe get up high, so you can see a lot of the sky, that's ideal.”

The Lyrid meteors are not known to be the fastest or brightest meteors, but their shower can still provide a worthwhile celestial light show, and there is always a chance for surprises.

“You never know what you're going to see, and seeing a meteorite is a really cool way to see what's going on and see the solar system active,” King said. “In a way, (by seeing a meteorite) you are looking at… some of the oldest materials to have formed in the solar system.”

The pink moon will be visible to everyone around the world, as Earth's natural satellite will appear full moon For a few days.

Despite its name, this full moon will look like any other, said Paul Hein, a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder. A full moon may sometimes take on a reddish color when it is near the horizon, due to light passing through the Earth's atmosphere.

In fact, the Pink Moon gets its nickname due to its annual appearance shortly after the beginning of spring, just like the hot pink wildflower of the same name called Phlox subulata It blooms in early spring, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

It's best to view the full moon with binoculars, or even just the naked eye, because it may be too bright to see through a telescope, Hein said.

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“Our closest celestial neighbors have played a major role in both human mythology and the evolution of life on Earth. It is also one of the most beautiful sights in the night sky that can be seen without a telescope,” Hein said in an email. “Looking at the full moon is a great opportunity.” “A reminder of the vastness of space and our connection to the universe.”

Lorenzo Di Cola/Norphoto/Getty Images

A pink moon rises next to Orvieto Cathedral in the Umbria region of Italy, on April 6, 2023. This year, April's full moon will reach its peak on Tuesday.

Of the 12 full moons in 2024, the lunar events in September and October are expected to be a supermoon, according to EarthSky.

Definitions of a supermoon can vary, but the term generally refers to a full moon that is closer to Earth than usual and therefore appears larger and brighter in the night sky. Some astronomers say this phenomenon occurs when the Moon is within 90% of perigee – its closest approach to Earth in orbit.

Here are the remaining full moons of 2024:

• May 23: Venus Moon

• June 21: Strawberry Moon

• July 21: Pac Moon

• August 19: Sturgeon Moon

• September 17: Harvest Moon

• October 17: Hunter’s Moon

• November 15: Beaver Moon

• December 15: Cold Moon

Skygazers can look forward to a slew of meteor showers coming this year, according to American Meteor Society. Below are the dates when meteor events are expected to peak.

• Eta Aquarius: May 4-5

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• Buckeyes south of the Delta: July 29-30

• Alpha Capricorn: July 30-31

• Perseids: August 11-12

• Dragon: October 7-8

• Al-Jabariyat: October 20-21

• Southern Supplies: November 4-5

• Northern revolutions: November 11-12

• Leonids: November 17-18

• Gemini: December 13-14

• Ursids: December 21-22

Solar and lunar eclipse

While the most anticipated eclipse events of 2024 were A total solar eclipse on April 8An annular solar eclipse will occur on October 2 Parts of South America. In this type of eclipse, the Moon is at the farthest point from Earth within its orbit as it passes between our planet and the Sun, so it is unable to completely obscure the fiery celestial body. Instead, an annular solar eclipse creates a “ring of fire” in the sky as sunlight surrounds the moon.

Meanwhile, a partial lunar eclipse will appear over Europe, most of Asia, Africa, North America and South America between September 17 and 18. During this event, the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon in near-perfect alignment, causing the Earth's shadow. To hide part of the moon's surface from those in the path of the eclipse.