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Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaking Now

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starsSaturday night marked the beginning of the Lyrid Meteor shower, but you haven’t missed out yet. Actually if you’re just reading about this now, you probably saved yourself a couple of cold, uneventful nights.

The annual meteor shower is going to put on its best show on April 22nd and 23rd and will be most active around 4 to 4:30 a.m. If you’ve never seen one before, it’s worth staying up late or getting up early for. At its peak hour, you should be able to see between 15 and 20 meteors an hour. Unfortunately the moon is about 5 days from being full (waxing), which makes it a bit harder to see. So it will be especially hard to see it if you are trying to watch from the city because you have light pollution from the ground and in the sky.

If you’re in San Diego, your best bet is to take a short drive east. There are some great spots off of the 76, 78, and 79 freeways if you live in the north county. For those of you a little further south, just head east on the 94 and continue on Campo road for about 10 miles, or whenever you feel it’s dark enough along the horizon.

If you miss the Lyrid shower, don’t fret, the next shower is only a couple weeks away. The Eta Aquarid Meteor shower will occur May 4-6 around 4 a.m. and can be best seen from the aforementioned locations. After that, you have the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower which peaks the morning of July 29th. Lastly the major one, Perseids shower, will peak on August 12th, flaunting an impressive 60-100 meteors per hour.

For those aspiring photographers hoping to capture the shower, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure to use a tripod
  • Use a 50mm prime lense with the aperture wide open
  • Set the camera shutter to bulb mode or in maual mode set the shutter speed to 30 seconds
  • If possible use a remote trigger so as not to shake the camera

Following these steps will give you the most impressive images. Have fun and good luck.

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