The Lyrid meteor shower returns this month, bringing shooting stars across the night sky.
According to NASA, the showers are active April 15-29, with the peak coming April 21 and 22. At its peak, the showers should produce around 18 meteors per hour.
The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra. Lyra rises in the east about an hour or two after sunrise in the Northern Hemisphere. It is directly overhead in the early morning hours in April.
NASA said the meteors are leftover pieces from comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. The comet was first discovered in 1861.
The meteor shower itself was first observed in 687 B.C. in China.
NASA said the Lyrid meteor shower is known for fast, bright meteors. There have been instances where the Lyrids can produce up to 100 meteors per hour.
“Lyrids don’t tend to leave long, glowing dust trains behind them as they streak through the Earth’s atmosphere, but they can produce the occasional bright flash called a fireball,” according to NASA.
The Lyrids are among several top meteor showers visible every year, like the Perseids in August and the Leonids in November.
Generally, it’s best to view the night sky with as little light pollution as possible. Astronomers also recommend spending 30 minutes outside and not looking at cellphones or other screens so your eyes can adjust to the darkness.
The moon will largely not be in the night sky during the Lyrids, which will make it even easier to spot the meteors.
By Justin Boggs, Scripps News.