- NASA/MSFC/Danielle Moser
One of the oldest known meteor showers will be featured in the sky this week, peaking tomorrow (Tuesday morning) which also happens to be Earth Day. The Lyrid meteor showers may be visible all week long, but you could see as many as 10-20 "shooting stars" an hour in the pre-dawn hours on April 22nd. The meteors originate from the comet Thatcher and appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra near the bright star of Vega. The meteors may be visible very low in the northeastern sky starting at 10 p.m. tonight. The meteor shower will be at its highest point in the sky around dawn.
Unfortunately, some clouds and a bright waning gibbous moon will compete along with city lights and make make it difficult to see many of the meteors. Luckily, one feature of the Lyrids, according to Earth and Sky, is that one quarter of them are expected to have persistent trains, a long gas trail that appears as a lengthy streak in the sky.
Here's our WJLA Futurecast cloud cover for 4a.m. on Tuesday.
Expect partly cloudy skies, so it shouldn't be completely clouded over and you should be able to see something in the night sky. If you don't think it's worth the early wake-up call with the moon and clouds tomorrow, you should be able to see a few shooting stars each night the rest of the week. Or you can watch it online from our friends at NASA on this link.