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Prepare for a celestial delight: Lyrids meteor shower to illuminate Ontario skies this month

Get ready for an exciting celestial event coming up!

Get ready for an exciting celestial event coming up next week—the Lyrids Meteor Shower will light up the skies above Ontario.

This annual meteor shower has been around for over 2,700 years and is a favourite for sky watchers, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. 

The Lyrids meteor shower is famous for its swift and bright meteors. While it may not match the speed or abundance of the renowned Perseids in August, the Lyrids can still amaze observers with up to 100 meteors visible per hour.

The Lyrids Meteor Shower will be visible from April 15th to April 29th, 2024, peaking on the 22nd. As with most meteor showers, the peak viewing time will be before dawn, but the Lyrids will become visible beginning at about 10:30 p.m. local time

Tips for Meteor Shower Viewing:

  1. Check Weather Conditions. Ensure clear skies for optimal viewing conditions.
  2. To get the best view, find a location far from city or street lights. Bring along a sleeping bag, blanket, or a comfortable lawn chair.
  3. Lie flat on your back with your feet pointing eastward, allowing you to take in the expansive night sky. It takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, after which you'll start spotting meteors.
  4. Patience is key—the spectacle continues until dawn, giving you ample time to enjoy the show.

For the best experience, head away from city lights to these top spots in Ontario:

1. Quetico Provincial Park

Renowned for its pollution-free night skies, Quetico Provincial Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association. This accolade ensures an unparalleled stargazing experience, making it an ideal destination for meteor shower enthusiasts.

2. Fathom Five National Marine Park

Renowned for its submerged shipwrecks, Fathom Five National Marine Park also offers an exceptional vantage point for stargazing. Amidst its marine wonders, visitors can delight in the sight of shooting stars illuminating the night sky.

3. Torrance Barrens Conservation Reserve

Covering over 4,000 acres of preserved crown land, Torrance Barrens Conservation Reserve is a sanctuary away from urban light pollution. This conservation area provides an unobstructed view of the night sky, perfect for witnessing the celestial spectacle of meteor showers.

4. Bruce Peninsula National Park

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a haven for captivating night skies, Bruce Peninsula National Park offers a serene backdrop for celestial observations. Its pristine natural setting makes it a cherished spot among astronomers and nature enthusiasts alike.

5. Point Pelee National Park

Designated as a Dark-Sky site by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Point Pelee National Park is a premier location for astronomical observations. Its protected status ensures minimal light interference, creating an optimal environment for meteor shower viewing.

For more great places to stargaze, check out Destination Ontario

Whether you're a seasoned astronomer or a nature enthusiast seeking celestial wonders, the Lyrids Meteor Shower promises a captivating experience. Plan your adventure to these stellar locations in Ontario and prepare to be awestruck by nature's celestial display.