Lyrid Meteor Shower Is Underway: When and Where to See It

How to Watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower When It Passes Through the Night Sky

Ready For The Lyrid Meteor Shower 2018? When And How To Watch It

(Helpful Hint: Vega is one of the brightest stars in the night sky and is easy to spot in even light-polluted areas.) The constellation of Lyra is also where we get the name for the shower: Lyrids.

The Lyrid meteor shower takes place between April 16 and 25, and will likely peak the morning of April 22. The spectacular Lyrid Meteor shower is considered to be the leftovers of G1 Thatcher comet the spotted back in 1861 while passing the earth. That's when the meteor shower is supposed to "peak", with around 10-20 meteors per hour showing, according to EarthSky. You can best witness the Lyrids in the early hours of Sunday morning as long as there are not clouds obscuring your view, with the hours before the dawn being the very best time.

The annual shower, which happens between April 16 and 25 each year, occurs when the Earth passes through the tail of a comet. Those few hours before dawn are the ideal time to find a great spot away from the busy city lights, lie back in the crisp morning air and enjoy the stunning display on the dark, moonless sky.

The next one, called Eta Aquarids meteor shower, is set to begin on April 19 and will last until May 28. This was the case in 1982, when American stargazers were treated to a stunning outburst of 100 Lyrid meteors per hour.

This year, the peak of the shower is expected to showcase about 18 meteors and hour, provided the sky is dark enough for them to be visible.

Meteor showers can be unpredictable, but to give yourself the best chance to spot fireballs, be sure to wake up early and look to the sky in the hours just prior to sunrise. The waxing moon should set before the meteors appear, making for flawless viewing - though meteor showers are notoriously fickle.

According to EarthSky, the waxing moon isn't expected to get in the way.

So, grab a warm blanket to shield you from the cool morning air and head out to a secluded place outside the city, lie down on the grass or on the hood of your auto with your feet pointing east and look up.

NASA advises spectators go outside bundled up, and lie flat on their backs for several minutes before the start of the shower so their eyes can adjust to the darkness. Lyrids appear to particularly radiate out from the star Vega-Vega is the brightest star within this constellation.

According to its origin, Lyrid meteors are believed to be leftovers debris that escaped the comet G1 Thatcher that was first observed on April 5, 1861, over NY by astronomer A.E. Thatcher who named it as "G1 Thatcher". When comets come around the sun, they leave a dusty trail behind them.

The Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors, though not as fast or as plentiful as the famous Perseids in August, Lyrids can surprise watchers with as many as 100 meteors seen per hour. The shooting stars will max on April 22 between 1.30am EST and dawn.

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