Natures Best Late-night Show on the Oregon Coast
Published: 04/19/2018

Favorable viewing conditions will give stargazers a celestial show with as many as 20 meteors streaking across the sky every hour during the Lyrid meteor shower.

Weekend viewing conditions on the Oregon Coast are expected to be favorable, giving stargazers a good chance of spotting Lyrids meteor shower, April 21-22, 2018.

Sometimes called shooting stars, although they have nothing to do with stars, meteors occur when the Earth passes through a comets debris field. Every year when Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Thatcher, the Lyrid meteor shower will soar across darkened skies. The Lyrids are classified as a medium strength shower and is the oldest on record. In the year 687 BC the ancient Chinese observed and recorded the Lyrid shower as midnight stars falling like rain.

Here on the Oregon Coast, cloud cover can make or break meteor viewing for sky-watchers. According to Accuweather's visibility map, Oregon is positioned in the good viewing zone for the Lyrid meteor shower.

Viewing the celestial show will be easy for stargazers of all ages and will not require any special equipment. Peak viewing time is when the skies are darkest, after moonset and before sunrise. Find a spot where the sky appears clear, without light pollution. Lay back and get as much of the sky in your view as possible, and just wait. After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Most Lyrid showers will produce 15-20 meteors every hour. On rare occasions, outbursts of up to a 100 meteors per hour have been reported. Some people may even see a few fireballs or extremely bright meteors that can light up the entire sky for a few seconds. The celestial show will continue to appear in all its fiery glory until April 25.
Natures Best Late-night Show on the Oregon Coast