When To Catch The Massive Meteor Shower In East Texas
The oldest and largest meteor shower in the world is about to flash over East Texas, and there is one day that the display will be at a peak.
I grew up in the country, surrounded by dirt roads and cornfields in Nebraska, and although I wasn't a fan of having only twelve kids in my class or having to drive for an hour to get to the nearest mall, living in a small town did have some advantages. It was dark! Without bright city lights, we were able to see the stars easily, and every night I was able to make a wish on the North Star, and find the Big Dipper without any trouble at all.
If you live outside of Tyler or Longview (or any East Texas city lights for that matter), you might have the best view of the next major celestial event on the calendar. A massive meteor shower is coming, and the darker the better to watch those little balls burn up in the atmosphere.
EarthSky.org says the upcoming Lyrid Meteor Shower was first recorded by ancient Chinese astronomers in 687 B.C., and at the time they compared it to rain. The meteors must have been falling so fast it felt like they needed an umbrella.
It's amazing to think that we'll be watching balls of light burn sixty miles above East Texas. We can't see towns that are sixty miles away from Tyler, but we will be able to see things happen sixty miles up in the sky. It will be better with a telescope, but still.
I read that this Lyrid Meteor Shower will be connected to the star Vega, and that will rise between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. between April 16 and April 25 and then meteors will start showing up in the middle of the night on those days. The peak could be April 22, when EarthSky.org says we'll able to see ten to fifteen meteors per hour.
I wish the junky telescope that I bought for the kids three Christmases ago still worked! With the meteor shower happening before dawn each day and sleep being important, we might have to rely on our celestial friends to put it on social media the next day. But if you have a telescope and lots of coffee, April 22 will be a peak moment.