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How to see 'light show in the sky' as Lyrid meteor shower set to arrive this weekend

Mirror logo Mirror 20/04/2017
Credits: Anadolu © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Anadolu

A special 'light show in the sky ' is set for the weekend as stargazers await the Lyrid meteor shower.

With a clear sky, you should get to see an 'astronomical extravaganza' with the naked eye – no binoculars or telescopes are needed.

More than 20 shooting stars are expected every hour at its peak, on the night of April 22 and the morning of April 23.

Steer clear of light pollution from urban areas and you could be in for a treat, the Loughborough Echo reports.

What is the Lyrid meteor shower?

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

One of the oldest known meteor showers, the Lyrid is named after the constellation Lyra.

The Lyrid shower occurs as the Earth passes through a region of the solar system where there’s lots of debris from a comet – called C/186 GI Thatcher - which makes a full orbit of the Sun every 415 years.

As the debris from the comet crash through the Earth’s upper atmosphere, they vapourise, turning into the colourful meteor shower.

Credits: Getty Images © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty Images

How to see it

First of all, look up at the sky to see if it’s a clear night. If it’s overcast, you won’t see much.

Provided it’s clear, you should wrap up warm and head outside - use sleeping bags and hot water bottles if necessary - and spend at least 30 minutes outside getting used to the darkness.

Once you’ve settled on a spot, look up and try and take in as much of the sky as possible - you should be looking towards the star Vega, which, in the Northern Hemisphere, is the second brightest star in the sky.

Don’t lose heart if you don’t see anything for a while - the meteors tend to come in spurts interspersed with lulls.

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