This is when you can see the Starlink satellites AND meteor showers in the sky tonight

Miss the Starlink satellite display over Northern England last night?

By Darren Burke
Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 2:10 pm

Thousands of stargazers tried to catch a glimpse of Elon Musk’s satellite train last night – but were left disappointed after failing to spot the spectacular light display.

But there’s another chance tonight – even if you have to stop up pretty late – or get up especially early.

And if you miss it again, there’s still a chance to catch the Lyrid meteor shower which will peak tonight.

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Elon Musk's Starlink satellite display.

Starlink will be visible at 4.04am in the early hours of tomorrow, moving from southwest to east for about four minutes.

It will also be visible tomorrow at 9.34pm and 11.10pm.

The string of lights moving across the sky are part of entrepreneur’s Elon Musk's Space X project which plans to create a constellation of thousands of low-orbit small satellites to improve internet service.

The firm eventually plans to launch 4,425 satellites into orbit above the Earth - three times as many that are currently in operation.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Lyrid meteor shower will coincide with a new moon on Tuesday giving stargazers especially dark skies to watch the celestial spectacle - with up to 15 shooting stars visible per hour.

The annual show will reach its peak today with 10 to 15 meteors per hour and the best time to watch is between midnight and dawn.

It's the first shower since early January so even though it's a relatively calm show compared to others, it's welcomed by meteor-watchers and is the oldest recorded meteor-shower - with the first sighting from ancient China in 687 BC.

The Lyrids are rock and dust left behind by the comet C/1861 G (Thatcher) as the Earth drifts through a cloud of debris left behind by the icy space rock.

Every year, the Earth intersects with Thatcher's dusty tail and particles of the comet are seen streaking through the sky where the usually burn up.

To see the shooting stars you will need to be in an area of low light pollution with a clear sky with minimal cloud cover.

According to astronomers, optimal viewing is in the few hours before dawn no matter where you are in the Northern Hemisphere.