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Lyrids 2023: how to see the rain of stars this weekend from Colombia

On the night of April 22, Earth’s long path around the Sun will coincide with a dense cloud of cosmic debris, dust, and rocks that was once part of comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, whose journey through the inner planets of the Solar System occurs approximately every 415 years. When these particles come into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere, the resistance of the air increases their temperature until they disintegrate, causing a fleeting flash that crosses the night sky in a matter of seconds: it is the Lyrids, the most colorful meteor shower of spring .

What time to see the rain of stars from Colombia

The first Lyrids timidly appear in the night sky in mid-April and reach their maximum intensity a week later. This year, the best time to see the meteor shower will be during the early hours of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April, when it will be possible to observe up to 20 meteors per hour under ideal conditions. Unlike the latest meteor showers, the Lyrids of 2023 will coincide with the new Moon, an unbeatable setting in search of dark skies where you can enjoy the astronomical spectacle.

In Colombia, the first Lyrids will appear at nightfall and will be more visible at dawn. The radiant, the region of the night sky where most shooting stars seem to originate (and the one that gives this meteor shower its name), is located in the constellation of Lyra, in a northeasterly direction. However, it is not necessary to fix your eyes on a specific point or use any optical instrument: at about 47 kilometers per second, the Lyrids can appear in any region of the celestial vault and briefly cross it before turning off. Hence, to hunt as many meteors as possible, it is best to find a comfortable position to look up without straining your neck, with the widest possible field of vision. In addition to patience, darkness plays a key role in any meteor shower. If the observation takes place from a place free of light pollution, preferably in a rural environment, far from big cities, the chances of capturing more shooting stars will increase dramatically.

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