SHOOTING stars are not only beautiful – they’re a chance to make a wish and hope for good luck.
April’s Lyrid meteor shower is the oldest on record. Here’s the lowdown on when and how to watch it in 2019…
Getty Images The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the best displays of shooting stars we get here in Britain
When can I see the Lyrid meteor shower 2019?
The Lyrid meteor shower is active between April 16 and April 25 each year.
It peaks on MONDAY, April 22 and the morning of April 23.
If you can stay awake – or get up early enough – the very best time to watch the spectacle is just before the sun rises.
You don’t need any special equipment like a telescope or binoculars – just wrap up warm and look up.
What is the Lyrid meteor shower?
The Lyrid meteor shower is made from falling debris from comet Thatcher.
At its peak, you can expect to see 10 to 15 meteors per hour – assuming it is a moonless night.
Getty Images If you’re lucky, you could see up to 100 shooting stars in one hour
Sometimes the Lyrids can have uncommon surges, which bump the rate up to 100 per hour.
The outbursts are difficult to predict, but are one of the reasons this meteor shower is normally worth checking out.
The comet takes 415 years to orbit around the Sun, and the Lyrid shower is the oldest on record.
The Lyrids are named after constellation Lyra, and the radiant point of this particular shower is one of the brightest stars in the sky at this time of the year.
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Where’s the best place in Britain to watch the Lyrid meteor shower?
Fortunately for us, the Lyrids are much more visible in the Northern Hemisphere.
Astronomers suggest looking towards the east to see the shooting stars.
Getty Images Head out of town for the best view of the Lyrid meteor shower
If you want to catch the spectacle, you should head out of town – and away from artificial light.
You may also want to check the weather in advance because you’re unlikely to be able to see anything if the skies aren’t clear.
You don’t need binoculars, just a good pair of eyes, but be prepared to wait – stargazing in a patient person’s game. Good luck!
The best way to watch a meteor shower and spot shooting stars