Lyrid meteor shower to light up night sky in April — here’s how to watch

Calling all stargazers: The first major meteor shower of the year — the Lyrids — will occur in mid-April and is expected to light up the evening sky with a dazzling display.

The Lyrids are active each year from about April 16 to 25 with peak viewing between midnight April 21 and dawn on April 22.

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While the Lyrid meteor shower only offers about 10 to 15 meteors per hour at its peak, it can still be a spectacular sight to see if you catch a few streaking across the night sky.

How to watch

The shower will peak April 21 through April 22 (Wednesday through Thursday), meaning viewing at this time will be the best opportunity to observe the meteors.

But viewing opportunities will begin as early as the evening of April 16.

"We expect the shower to pick up steam beginning late at night on Monday, April 19, 2021, probably peaking in the predawn hours on Thursday, April 22," EarthSky wrote.

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This year, the best time to watch will likely be between moonset and dawn.

And while shooting stars can be seen anywhere in the sky, it’s best to watch away from city lights and other obstructed views.

Facts about the Lyrids

"The Lyrid meteor shower has the distinction of being among the oldest of known meteor showers. Records of this shower go back for some 2,700 years," EarthSky wrote.

And according to EarthSky, the Lyrids are known to have outbursts. In fact, in 1982, American observers saw an outburst of nearly 100 Lyrid meteors per hour.

About a quarter of Lyrid meteors leave persistent trains. A meteor train is an ionized gas trail that glows for a few seconds after the meteor has passed, EarthSky noted.

Happy stargazing!