Lyrid Meteor Shower 2018: When, Where & How to See It

Composite image of Lyrid and not Lyrid meteors over New Mexico from April 2012. Image via NASA MSFC Danielle Moser

Nevertheless, you can still gauge the best time to watch the Lyrid meteor shower on your sky by knowing the rising time of the radiant point.

"Meteor watching requires plenty of patience, particularly with a medium-strength shower such as the Lyrids", wrote Paul Sutherland on Skymania.

For the rest of April, you'll have a good chance of seeing some shooting stars as the Lyrid meteor shower comes through this year.

Stargazers are in for a spectacular display this week, as the Lyrid meteor shower is set to light up the skies.

The forecast might cooperate for the oldest of the meteor shower to hit Earth, the Lyrids.

Some years, the Lyrid meteor shower intensifies and can produce up to 100 meteors per hour in what's called an "outburst", but it is hard to predict exactly when that will happen.

The greatest number of meteors will fall during the few hours before dawn. Its peak will occur on the night of May 5 and last until May 6.

An outburst of Lyrid meteors is always a possibility, though no Lyrid outburst is predicted for 2018.


The Lyrids are known to be fast and bright meteors that can often surprise spectators.

"The moon will be really favorable for them this year; it will set by the time the Lyrid radiant is high in the sky", Cooke told Space.com.

Since we'll be having a first quarter moon until 1:46 a.m. EST on Sunday, Travel + Leisure informs, nothing is expected to upstage the Lyrids by the time their peak rolls around.

While the meteors will appear to come from a point in the sky that is home to the small constellation Lyra, it's not important to look in a particular direction of the sky.

NASA advises spectators go outside bundled up, and lie flat on their backs for several minutes before the start of the shower so their eyes can adjust to the darkness. But meteors should be visible across the sky.

Comet Thatcher last visited the inner solar system in 1861 and will not return until the year 2276.

Lyrids are pieces of debris from the Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher and have been observed for more than 2,700 years, NASA said, which makes them one of the oldest known showers. Last time Comet Thatcher came close to the sun was in 1861 and it is expected to return nearly 260 years from now, in 2276.

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