East Hawaii News

Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks in Hawaii

April 20, 2015, 9:05 PM HST
* Updated April 21, 10:27 PM
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Earth’s encounter with the comet debris from C/1861 G Thatcher will give us a show in the sky this week!

The Lyrid Meteor Shower is active in Hawaiʻi through April 25, 2015. The shower began Thursday April 16, 2015 and is expected to peak from midnight to the early dawn hours on both April 21 and April 22.

The moon sets earlier in the evening on both peak nights so your viewing experience will not be affected by interference from the moon.

According to the Bishop Museum, the peak actually occurs at 12 noon on April 22 during daylight hours. Still, nighttime viewing on either side of the peak should be good producing 10 to 20 meteors per hour.

NASA describes the Lyrids as being “about as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper. It’s not unusual to see one or two fireballs when the shower peaks.” Another beautiful feature of the Lyrids are “persistent trains” or ionized gas trails that glow for a few seconds after the meteor has passed.

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Viewing Tips / Conditions on peak nights

April 21, 2015 
Starting at 12:01 a.m. and into early dawn
Moon set: 10:06 p.m. The moon sets before peak viewing times so sky will be dark.
Weather: Mostly cloudy skies and scattered showers for windward spots. Better weather on the leeward sides with clearing expected as the evening goes on. Winds are expected out of the east from 15 to 25 mph (gusting to 40 mph) with low temperatures from 67° to 72° on the Big Island.

April 22, 2015
Starting at 12:01 a.m. and into early dawn
Moon set: 11:00 p.m. The moon sets before peak viewing times so the sky will be dark.
Weather: Mostly cloudy with numerous showers at night for windward areas. Partly cloudy skies for leeward spots. Winds are expected out of the east/southeast around 15 mph. Low temperatures from 69° to 75° on the Big Island.

  • Meteors are yellow in color and streak across the sky very quickly.
  • This shower will appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra (the Harp) near the brilliant star Vega. However, you don’t have to necessarily look directly at the radiant as meteors will appear in all parts of the night sky.
  • During the early morning hours, shower activity is combined with normal random meteor activity.
  • Dusk is the worst time to view meteors, as the number of meteors that are visible will increase as the night progresses.
  • Find the darkest place possible.
  • Find an open area where no trees or buildings intrude into your view.
  • Allow your eyes to adjust for 15 – 30 minutes.
  • Get comfortable. Dress appropriately and lie flat on your back with your feet facing south.
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**Send us your photos of the meteor shower and we will share them with our MauiNow.com ohana! Email [email protected]**

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