Take a look: It's the Lyrid meteor shower!
Various skywatching organizations have recorded the peak of meteor sound on various nights as it passes from 21-22 April and 22-23 April. Whatever night you see, here are some tips to see the burned dust and debris left by Comet Thatcher on his walk around the solar system. Skywatchers can count on about 18 meteors per hour, even though the bright moon may make them hard to spot, NASA's meteorite specialist Bill Cooke told Space.com.
Meteor showers like the Lyrids occur when the earth goes through the dusty path of a comet The meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but they seem from a point northeast of the bright star Vega (called the Ray of the meteor shower). This meteor shower is easier to see in the northern hemisphere, as this part of the sky is high above the horizon before sunrise, though you can see a lower rate from the southern hemisphere.
Related: Lyrid Meteor Shower 201
People in the northeast will see the beam around 9 or 22 o'clock. in their local time zones, and it will continue to rise into the sky during the night – but the moon will also rise soon afterwards, so you might try to find meteors in that window. (The moon will rise earlier on the night of the 21st of April than on the night of the 22nd of April.) Otherwise, if you go closer to 3 or 4 in the morning, the radiation beam will be at the best spot where you can see meteorites although they are washed out by the moon.
Regardless of when you look, the key to when you watch a meteor shower is to go as dark as possible and make sure you give your eyes enough time to adjust – not just darts outside, to look at you; let it set for 20-30 minutes. Make sure you dress warmly when in a cold location and find a comfortable place to sit back and look at the whole sky. Since meteors can occur anywhere in the sky, the naked eye is the best tool you can use. Telescopes and binoculars limit the view.
Do not look directly at the beam. Meteors from further afield often have long, showy tails. The Lyrids had an Earth's atmosphere of up to 30 miles per second (49 kilometers per second) and could be about as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper, Cooke said.
Cooke told Space.com that the Lyrids occasionally produce outbreaks of up to 100 meteors per hour, but these outbreaks are unpredictable. Nevertheless, some Skywatcher can try their luck despite the bright moon.
The Source of the Lyrids, Comet Thatcher orbits the Sun once every 415 years. Luckily for Skywatcher, the Earth goes through its path every year from mid to late April. The resulting ad was at least 687 v. Watched. – It is one of the earliest recorded showers. The comet Thatcher passed the sun (and the neighborhood of the earth) in 1861. In 2276 he will pass next.
E-mail Sarah Lewin at email@example.com or follow her @SarahExplains . Follow us on Twitter @SpaceTotcom and on Facebook .