How To See The Lyrid Meteor Shower In Hong Kong This April 2021
Our fascination with the stars, space and what lies beyond our universe has continuously grown over the years, no doubt fuelled by the latest developments in space tourism. This includes the world's first space hotel, all the new developments at SpaceX, plans for the first sustainable city on Mars, the first private mission to the moon and NASA's Perseverance rover exploring the red planet––along with keeping up to date with all the celestial events that happen every month.
This month, our skies will light up with the Lyrid Meteor Shower which will run from April 16–25, with the peak happening on the night of April 22. The Hong Kong Space Museum states that the best time to observe the show in Hong Kong is at about 9pm. This year's Lyrid Meteor Shower is expected to have 15–25 meteors per hour according to astronomers.
The Lyrid Meteor Show is one of the oldest celestial events on record, dating back to 687 B.C. by Chinese astronomers. Compared to other meteor showers, the Lyrid is only medium-scale at best, but it's known for producing fireballs, which are shooting stars that flare so bright they leave a lasting streak across the sky.
The best way to witness this celestial event is between moonset and dawn when the sky is at its darkest and the meteors' radiant point is the highest in the sky. It's also highly recommended to visit one of Hong Kong's stargazing spots to increase your chances of seeing the meteor shower as the sky in downtown Hong Kong is obscured by the numerous skyscrapers and light pollution which you want to avoid.
Using a telescope is unnecessary for meteor showers as it only narrows down your field of vision. If you're a space buff and know your constellations, we recommend looking for the Lyra constellation for which the Lyrids are named after as the shooting stars will most likely light up from that area.