SHOOTING stars are not only beautiful – they’re a chance to make a wish and hope for good luck from above.
April’s Lyrid meteor shower is the oldest on record. Here’s how to watch it this year.
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.
We’re fortunate this year, as the crescent moon expected on the date of the shower shouldn’t interfere too much.
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.
The Lyrid meteor shower is active between April 16 and April 25 each year.
It tends to peak on April 22 or 23, and the best time to watch is between midnight and dawn.
Fortunately for us, the Lyrids are much more visible in the Northern Hemisphere.
Astronomers suggest looking towards the east to see the shooting stars.
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!