See a shooting star: Lyrids meteor shower to peak over Switzerland

See a shooting star: Lyrids meteor shower to peak over Switzerland

Stargazers across Switzerland will be given a mid-April treat in 2024, with the arrival of the Lyrids meteor shower in the night sky. Depending on the weather, people across the alpine nation will be able to see up to 20 meteors an hour, as they peak on April 21.

Lyrids meteor shower to peak over Switzerland

First identified by Chinese astronomers 2.500 years ago, the Lyrids have been a prominent feature of the astronomical calendar for millennia. The meteor shower itself has its origins in the comet Thatcher, which takes 415 years to orbit the sun - it is predicted to be visible from Earth again in the year 2276. 

NASA writes on its website that at its peak, "Up to 20 meteors an hour can be seen." However, what makes the Lyrids unique is their potential for “uncommon surges”, which can see up to 100 meteors an hour burn up in the atmosphere, creating a stunning, albeit very rare, spectacle.

How to see the Lyrids shooting stars from Switzerland

The Lyrids will be visible across Swiss cities and cantons from April 15 to 29, but the best time to see them will be late in the evening on April 21 when the shower peaks. The moon conditions are not expected to be optimal to watch this annual meteor treat at its peak, but even without the best conditions for darkness, there should be a good opportunity for stargazers to enjoy a glimpse of the meteor shower. 

The meteors themselves are expected to radiate near the Lyra constellation. To avoid getting a sore neck, experts recommend lying down to take in the view, as well as allowing enough time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness - this could take up to 20 minutes! 

To get the best chance of seeing the display, head out to a dark spot such as away from the city and towards open fields and even up mountains. Fingers crossed that the weather will remain clear and make it a night to remember!



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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