The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861. The shower runs annually from April 16-25. It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The Lyrids are one of the oldest recorded showers with observations going back to 687 B.C.
Meteor showers occur when the Earth crosses the path of a comet, colliding with a trail of comet crumbs. That’s why they happen around the same time every year and appear to originate from specific points in the sky. As they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, the meteors leave bright streaks in the sky commonly referred to as “shooting stars.”
Lyrid meteors come in fast — though not as fast as the Leonids, which peak in November.
The waning gibbous moon may block some of the fainter meteors this year, but there is still potential for a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky.