Lyrid meteor shower: Shooting stars and ‘occasional fireballs’ set to light up UK skies

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Experts say the meteor shower will be visible across the UK and its peak is due to be on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Amateur astronomers could be in for a treat this week as shooting stars are set to light up the night sky – and some could even see fireballs during the first major showers since January.

The Lyrid meteor shower is a burst of activity which takes place annually – usually around mid to late April – and is associated with the Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, according to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The Lyrids appear to radiate close to the constellation Lyra and are bits of rock and dust left behind by the comet.

The shower is expected to peak on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, and there could be around 20 meteors an hour.

Experts also claim stargazers could see “occasional fireballs” that can be “bigger and brighter” than shooting stars, and last longer – “for between five and 10 seconds”, as they say you could “blink and miss a meteor”.

The showers will be visible across the UK, but those living in dark, rural areas are likely to see more than people living in cities where there is a lot of light pollution.

But due to the coronavirus lockdown, keen stargazers should only try and view the shower from their own homes.