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Don’t Miss This Mesmerizing Meteor Shower This April in Texas

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Mark your calendars for an event that can be seen under quarantine and isn’t on TV or the internet! The April Lyrids are a meteor shower which lasts from April 16 – 26, 2020. Previous showings have included up to 100 lights per hour. We Texans are lucky in so many ways; one more is that our state has some of America’s darkest skies, and therefore, is the perfect place to observe this spectacular event. Some of the best dark skies in the Texas Hill Country and beyond include Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Davis Mountains State Park, and Devils River State Natural Area.

It all begins in a small constellation labeled Lyra. Within the constellation, the brightest star is called Vega or Alpha Lyrae, which is the suggested origination of the meteors. Considered the fifth-brightest star in the totality of the night sky, Vega has some showing off to do every spring! The April Lyrids make up a lightshow using the debris of the Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. This comet shucks dust fragments that rocket across the sky. Keep an eye out for fireballs!

Don't Miss This Mesmerizing Meteor Shower This April in Texas

Photo: envato elements

This truly amazing occurrence will also connect you to the past: this celestial showing has recordings in history since 687 BC, which is the oldest account of a meteor shower which still exists today. The text which describes this sky show is the Zuo Zhuan, an ancient narrative history of China covering 722 to 468 BC over the course of 30 chapters. Overnight on April 22, 2020 is the anticipated peak; prepare for an all-nighter with some blankets, chairs, and beverages. Luckily the moon is planned to cooperate this year and not upstage the April Lyrids. Better than TV and much less predictable, let nature entertain you this spring with a lightshow for the ages!