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| | Astronomy Essentials | Space on Apr 16, 2014

Start looking for Lyrid meteors!

The Lyrid meteor shower’s peak morning is April 22, but you might see meteors before that date since we’re crossing the Lyrid meteor stream from about April 16 to 25.

After the Quadrantid meteor shower in early January each year, we have a lull in meteor shower activity, with no major showers predicted between early January and the second half of April. Then comes the Lyrids. In 2014, the peak morning is April 22, and the Lyrids’ peak tends to be short-lived. Still, you might also see meteors before and after that date since we’re crossing the Lyrid meteor stream from about April 16 to 25.

There’s a last quarter moon in the sky during the 2014 Lyrid peak. A last quarter moon rises around midnight, and so this April 2014 last quarter moon will interfere with the Lyrids. It won’t ruin, but will somewhat subdue, the number of Lyrid meteors you’ll see in 2014.

On the peak morning, expect to see 10-20 meteors per hour. But you might see more. The Lyrids are known for uncommon surges that can sometimes bring the rate up to 100 per hour. Those rare outbursts are not easy to predict, but they’re one of the reasons the tantalizing Lyrids are worth checking out around their peak morning. One last note: Lyrid meteors tend to be bright and often leave trails.

Want more? Everything you need to know: Lyrid meteor shower

The radiant point of the Lyrid meteor shower is near the bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp.

The radiant point of the Lyrid meteor shower is near the bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp. The radiant rises in the northeast at about 10 p.m. on April evenings.

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2014