Lyrids meteor shower to streak across UAE skies during Ramadan

These meteors leave glowing dust trains behind them as they shoot through the atmosphere

One of the oldest recorded meteor showers will grace UAE skies this Ramadan.

The Lyrids meteor shower, an annual event that takes place in spring, will streak across the skies on April 22 and 23.

It is possible, however, that visibility could be affected by the brightness of the Moon, which will be present all night long.

Known as one of the most stunning meteor showers, it will produce about 10 to 15 meteors an hour at its peak.

The Lyrids are created by debris from Comet Thatcher, with recordings of sightings that go back 2,700 years.

Nasa said Chinese astronomers in 687BC reported meteors “falling like rain”.

“The Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors. Though not as fast or as plentiful as the famous Perseids in August, Lyrids can surprise watchers with as many as 100 meteors seen per hour,” Nasa said on its website.

“Lyrids frequently leave glowing dust trains behind them as they streak through the Earth's atmosphere. These trains can be observable for several seconds.”

These heavy showers have occurred in the past, including in 1803 in Virginia, 1922 in Greece, 1945 in Japan and the US in 1982.

The comet itself takes about 415 years to orbit the Sun and it is expected to be visible to viewers on Earth again in the year 2276.

It is best to observe these celestial events away from light pollution. They can be seen with the naked eye, but telescopes enhance the experience.

The next observable event in the UAE’s skies is on May 16, when the first of the four supermoons of the year will appear.

The average distance between the Moon and Earth is 384,472 kilometres, but this supermoon will be 362,127km from the planet.

Another supermoon will be visible on June 14, at a distance of 357,658km.

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Updated: April 11, 2022, 12:54 PM
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