April- Lyrid Meteor Shower, Solar Eclipse and M51🌌🔭🪐🌠


The Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks this year April 22nd. The waxing crescent moon is only 6% illuminated on this night giving us a great opportunity for some video. Here's some advice on how to view the Lyrid meteor shower and create a timelapse using a camera:

  1. Find a dark location: The Lyrid meteor shower is best viewed away from city lights to minimize light pollution. Look for a dark location, such as a park or a remote area, where you can have a clear view of the sky.

  2. Check the weather: Make sure to check the weather forecast for the night of the Lyrid meteor shower. Clear skies are ideal for meteor viewing, so choose a night with little to no cloud cover.

  3. Arrive early and get set up: Arrive at your chosen location well before the peak of the meteor shower, which usually occurs in the early morning hours. Set up your camera on a tripod to ensure stable shots during the timelapse.

  4. Use a wide-angle lens: A wide-angle lens is best for capturing a large portion of the sky and increasing your chances of capturing meteor streaks. A lens with a focal length between 14-24mm is recommended.

  5. Use manual mode: Set your camera to manual mode so you have full control over the settings. Start with the following recommended settings: ISO 1600-3200, aperture f/2.8-f/4, and shutter speed of 15-30 seconds. Adjust the settings as needed based on the brightness of the meteors and the ambient light conditions.

  6. Frame your shot: Choose a composition that includes an interesting foreground element, such as a tree, mountain, or silhouette, to add visual interest to your timelapse.

  7. Start the timelapse: Set your camera to capture a series of images at regular intervals, typically every 10-30 seconds, depending on the duration of your timelapse. Use a remote shutter release or a timer function to avoid camera shake.

  8. Be patient and watch the show: Meteor showers can be unpredictable, so be prepared to wait and be patient. Keep an eye on the sky and enjoy the natural spectacle as meteors streak across the night sky.

  9. Process your timelapse: After capturing your timelapse, transfer the images to your computer and use timelapse software to stitch them together into a video. You can also enhance the video by adjusting the brightness, contrast, and color balance to bring out the best of the meteor streaks.

Remember to dress warmly, bring snacks and drinks, and be mindful of your surroundings while you're out in the dark.


The upcoming solar eclipse on April 20th is an annular solar eclipse, visible in some parts of the world, including parts of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. If you're unable to witness it in person, you can still watch it online through live streams.

To watch the solar eclipse online, please follow this link 
 https://www.timeanddate.com/live/eclipse-solar-2023-april-20.  Note the time and date of the solar eclipse and make sure to convert it to your local time zone if necessary. Set a reminder to tune into the live stream at the designated time.


M51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, is a stunning spiral galaxy located in the constellation Canes Venatici. Observing M51 can be a fascinating and rewarding experience for amateur astronomers and stargazers alike.

To observe M51, you will need the following:

  1. A Telescope: M51 is located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years from Earth, so a telescope with a moderate to high magnification capability is recommended for optimal viewing. The NexStar SE telescope is a popular choice among amateur astronomers for its user-friendly design, portability, and advanced features that make observing distant celestial objects like galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters accessible and enjoyable.

  2. Dark Skies: Find a location away from city lights, as light pollution can significantly reduce the visibility of deep-sky objects like M51. Look for a dark, clear night with minimal atmospheric turbulence for the best viewing experience.

  3. Sky Maps or Star Charting Software: Familiarize yourself with the position of M51 in the night sky using a sky map or a star charting software. M51 is located near the star Alkaid in the Big Dipper asterism and can be easily located using its coordinates.

  4. Patience and Observation Skills: Observing deep-sky objects like M51 requires patience and keen observation skills. Take your time to scan the area around M51 and allow your eyes to adapt to the darkness for better visibility.

  5. Filters: Consider using filters to enhance the view of M51. A nebula filter or a light pollution filter can help reduce light pollution and increase the contrast of the galaxy, revealing more details.

When observing M51, look for its distinct spiral arms, which appear as bright, swirling patterns of stars and gas. You may also be able to see a faint bridge of material connecting M51 to its smaller companion galaxy, NGC 5195. Take note of any other details, such as the brightness, color, and size of M51, as well as any surrounding stars or galaxies.

Remember to take breaks and allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness to improve your observation skills. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of M51, a celestial marvel that has captured the imagination of astronomers and stargazers for centuries! 🌌