Lyrid meteor shower peak expected on Monday night and into Tuesday morning


A view of the Earth and Lyrids at night. (Screengrab from this video by NASA’s Marshall Center)

The Lyrid meteor shower is expected to peak on Monday night, with the best viewing possible between midnight and dawn on Tuesday morning, according to NASA.

“Everyone in the Northern Hemisphere can see the Lyrid meteor shower tonight,” NASA astronomer Bill Cooke notes in this post.

To see the shower, try to find a place with dark skies away from any city lights, Cooke recommends. He also suggests giving your eyes at least 30 to 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness and trying to avoid looking at the moon.

This year’s Lyrid meteor shower is visible between April 16 and 25, with the peak night on Monday, April 21, and into Tuesday, April 22, NASA said. While the peak rate is expected to be on the higher end of what we can normally expect, NASA does warn that the moon will block some of the less-bright meteors from view.

Of course, other places had different ideas about when the shower’s peak would arrive, so there may be other opportunities to check out the meteors. EarthSky.org says that the peak will come a few hours before dawn (but it also says it would be worth watching in the late evening on Monday night). The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, though, says the peak will come on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will offer a livestream of the Lyrids on Monday night at 8:30 p.m. (assuming the weather allows). Watch that here or here.

The annual Lyrid shower usually brings about 10 to 20 meteors per hour, but there are some uncommon surges that can push the number up to 100 per hour. Lyrids appear to come from a spot in the Lyra constellation, according to NASA.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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Mark Berman · April 21