Two meteor showers are set to be visible in South Wales skies over the coming weeks, one as early as next week.

The Lyrid and Eta Aquariid meteor showers are both set to be active this month, with the latter even lasting into May.

If you planning on heading out to see either of the meteor showers here is some important information that may help in catching a glimpse.

What is the Eta Aquariid meteor shower?

The Eta Aquariids is described as a "moderately active" meteor shower associated with the Comet Halley by the Royal Museums Greenwich.

Like most meteor showers it gets its name from the constellation in the night sky that it appears to radiate from - the Aquarius constellation. 

More specifically, it is comes from one of the stars from this constellation: Eta Aquarii.

What is the Lyrid meteor shower?

The Lyrid meteor shower is a burst of meteor activity occurring around mid to late April, the Royal Museums Greenwich explains.

The Museum experts continue: "The Lyrid meteor shower is associated with long-period Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher.

"It is the oldest recorded meteor shower still visible today, and was first recorded in 687 BCE."

When is the best time to see the Eta Aquariid and Lyrid meteor showers in South Wales?

Eta Aquariid meteor shower

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower is set to be active and visible in UK skies between April 19 and May 28, 2024, according to the Royal Museums Greenwich, and will peak between midnight and dawn on May 6.

The meteor shower will be visible with the naked eye so there is no need for binoculars or a telescope. 

Lyrid meteor shower

The Lyrid meteor shower will be active between April 14 and 30 and will peak overnight between April 22 and 23, according to the Royal Museums Greenwich.

The museum experts added: "The best time to see the shower generally is in the early morning of the peak day.

"Wait until after midnight when the radiant point, in the constellation of Lyra, will have risen in the East.

"The later in the morning you wait, the higher the radiant will rise and the fewer meteors will be hidden below the horizon.

"But the closer you get to sunrise the brighter the sky is going to become, so plan accordingly!"

Where are the best spots in South Wales to watch the Eta Aquariid and Lyrid meteor showers?

The Royal Museums Greenwich said the main thing when trying to catch a glimpse of any meteor shower was to find a dark site, with an unobstructed view of the sky.

The museum added: "The number of meteors you actually see will depend on all sorts of things, from the time of night to the level of background light.

"A bright sky will drown out the fainter meteors making them much more difficult to see."

The experts added lying on the ground or using a reclining deckchair was a "great way" of seeing as much as possible.


Some of the best spots in South Wales to see the Eta Aquariid and Lyrid meteor showers, according to Go Stargazing, are:​

  • Parc Penallta, Penallta
  • Sugar Loaf Mountain, Abergavenny
  • Brecon - Plas Dolygaer, Pontsticill, Merthyr Tydfil
  • Dyffryn Observatory, Dyffryn Gardens
  • Dunraven Bay, Southerndown
  • Bwlch Mountain Lay-by
  • Garn Eiddel Car Park
  • Hendre Mynydd Car Park, Rhigios Mountain
  • Fairwood Observatory - Swansea Airport, Fairwood Common
  • Glyncorrwg Ponds, Afan Forest and Ynyscorrwg Park, Glyncorrwg

The Lyrid meteor shower will peak overnight between April 22 and 23, while the Eta Aquariid meteor shower will peak between midnight and dawn on May 6.