It's that time of year... the Lyrid meteor shower. This meteor shower is active each year from April 16th through the 22nd. It's the celestial form of April showers. The Lyrids originate from the Lyra constellation and are a great sight to see in mid-April.
- On the night of April 21, the 2012 Lyrid meteor shower peaked in the skies over Earth. While NASA allsky cameras were looking up at the night skies, astronaut Don Pettit aboard the International Space Station trained his video camera on Earth below. This image was taken on April 22, 2012. CREDIT: NASA/JSC/D. Pettit
Now this year, the waxing gibbous moon may interfere with ideal shower viewing, so the best time to catch the meteors is right before dawn. Peak viewing will occur before dawn April 22nd (Sunday night into Monday morning) with between 10 to 20 meteors an hour! Fortunately, weather conditions should be ideal for meteor viewing with clear skies and great visibility.
If weather conditions permit, gaze the sky for possible Lyrid meteor sightings through the peak on the 22nd. The Lyrid's are among the oldest known meteor showers with records dating back 2,700 years! Happy meteor gazing!