How to Watch April's Lyrid Meteor Shower, Which Will Appear Brighter Than It Has in Years

The Lyrids will be easier to view in 2023 due to a dim waxing crescent moon, which will only reach 6 percent illumination on the night of the shower's peak.

April will bring more than warm weather and budding flowers. Look up into the night sky during the upcoming month and you'll see one of the oldest known meteor showers in history. The Lyrid meteor shower will peak on the night of April 22 and is expected to put on an exceptional show this year.

Named after a constellation of shooting stars that dates back to 687 B.C., the Lyrid meteor shower is the result of Earth passing through the tail of comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. In 2022, a bright moon made the shower difficult to see, but this year, viewing opportunities are ideal thanks to a waxing crescent moon, which will only reach 6 percent illumination on the night of the peak (that means darker skies and improved visibility!).

Lyrid meteor shower in night sky

A highly anticipated celestial event, the Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors. According to NASA, the shower can surprise stargazers with as many as 100 meteors per hour. And although they don't tend to leave bright dust trains, they can produce bright flashes called fireballs.

The 2023 Lyrid meteor shower will occur from April 16 to April 25, as it does every year. The phenomenon will become visible to the naked eye beginning at about 10:30 p.m. on April 21, but the best show will occur before dawn on April 22.

For optimal viewing, find an area well away from city lights or street lights, NASA says. Lie on your back with your feet facing east and look up. After about 30 minutes, your eyes will adjust to the dark and you will be able to spot the meteors.

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