Get ready for an incredible sight in the heavens above, and one that doesn't come around very often.
April 22 is Earth Day, but we’re about to get quite a show in the skies above us, and one that only comes around once every year. The Lyrid meteor shower peaked on Saturday morning, but you’ll still get a good view of them in the night sky.
The Lyrids appear when the Earth passes through the orbital path of Comet Thatcher, as the small meteors the comet leaves behind streak through the Earth’s atmosphere and creating an incredible light show. The best time to view them will be tonight and into Sunday morning, April 23, NASA says. The Lyrids may linger early Monday morning, April 24.
The Lyrid meteor shower produces at times as many as 90 meteors per hours, although it’s likely to bring more in the range of 18 to 20 per hour at its peak. It will be tougher to see them if it’s cloudy or you live in an area with a lot of light pollution. They can be spotted near the constellation Lyra, which is there namesake. Lyra can be found in the northern sky to the northeast of the bright, blue star Vega.
“This year’s second major meteor shower – the Lyrids – will radiate through the Summer Triangle*. It peaks in the morning hours of April 22,” NASA said in a statement. “Patient observers will be rewarded with the sight of 18 meteors per hour before dawn from a dark sky location. Since the moon will be nearly to its new moon phase, expect excellent moon-less viewing conditions this year. The actual new moon is on April 26.”