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Special Weather Statement

Lyrid meteor shower to peak on Monday night, will you be able to catch a glimpse of a shooting star?

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 22, 2019, 9:25:53 AM EDT

The first major meteor shower in more than three months will give stargazers across Europe the chance to see frequent shooting stars in the coming nights.

The peak activity is expected on Monday night and early Tuesday morning when up to 20 meteors per hour may be seen.

Unfortunately, thick clouds due to a storm system across southern Europe will limit viewing for many locations from Spain to Italy and the Balkan Peninsula.

Europe Lyrid 4/22

Some clouds will also stream northward throughout France and parts of the British Isles.

However, fair to good viewing is expected from the Baltic states into Scandinavia, Poland, Germany, the Low Countries and much of the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, viewing conditions are expected to worsen for most locations in the nights to follow as clouds blanket much of western and central Europe.

The best viewing on Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be from southern Italy into the Balkan Peninsula and eastern Europe.

lyrid meteor animation

Another concern is that the nearly full moon will interfere with viewing conditions as it fills the night sky with natural light pollution most of the night. This will make it difficult to see some of the dimmer meteors associated with the Lyrids, reducing the overall number of meteors that will be visible.

“Do not look at the moon. Do anything to avoid looking at the moon and focus on a different part of the sky,” AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said.

Onlookers should focus on the darkest parts of the sky far away from the moon, even if the area is not near the radiant point, or point of origin, of the Lyrids.

Europe Weather Center
Interactive Europe weather radar
Interactive Europe weather satellite

A common misconception about meteor showers is that you need to look directly at the radiant point to see a meteor shower when in fact, meteors will be visible in all areas of the sky.

“The radiant is not extremely important, but the higher in the sky it is, the better chance you have of seeing the meteors that streak in all directions from a common origin,“ Samuhel said.

Stargazers that miss this meteor shower do not have to wait long for another opportunity to spot some shooting stars as the next meteor shower is just a few weeks away.

The Eta Aquarids will peak on the night of May 6 into the early morning of May 7, delivering up to 30 meteors per hour to the sky across the Northern Hemisphere and as many as 60 meteors per hour for those across the Southern Hemisphere.

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