Published: Sun, April 23, 2017
Research | By Chelsea Rogers

Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight

Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight

Top off your Earth Day celebrations tonight (April 22) by watching a parade of falling stars: The Lyrid meteor shower peaked this morning about 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT), but the display will continue tonight, according to NASA.

The sky cover forecast for 4 a.m. Saturday shows who will have a tough time seeing meteors overnight. The peak night will be Saturday - but that might not work out for local viewers.

The Lyrid meteors are pieces of debris trailing behind the comet Thatcher, which was discovered and last seen passing Earth in 1861. The meteors shoot across our sky as the Earth moves through a stream of debris from this comet.

"It would be best to face toward the northern half of the sky with the moon at your back", AMS recommends. The moon will be almost to its new moon phase, according to NASA.

The Lyrids are one of the oldest known annual meteor showers. The Lyrids appear each year from about April 16 to 25, according to NASA, but activity is low until the peak night, so the 2017 show has just begun. But where should you look, when is the best time to look, and what's the deal with this meteor shower?

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"Although not numerous, Lyrids are bright and fast meteors", PAGASA said. Vega and Lyra are found high in the eastern sky a few hours after midnight during April 2017.

"Simply find a dark, open sky away from artificial lights". Late April is also the season of the Lyrids, the second of the year's established meteor showers.

If you are out viewing the shower during its peak you should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes. "Bring along warm clothes and a blanket", he said, "Reclining in a lawn chair is a great way to take in a lot of the sky at once, but be sure to get up and walk around occasionally".

Check the weather before you leave.

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