Meteor Showers occur throughout the year, and a bright Moon can wash out the view, so when we have ideal conditions for a shower, it's a good idea to take a few minutes and try to see it. Tonight, the Lyrid Meteor Shower reaches its peak, and we will have no moonlight to interfere.
The Lyrids are named after the tiny constellation Lyra, and although it is a small constellation it features the fifth-brightest star in the night sky, Vega. The constellation is the 'radiant' of the meteor shower, meaning that the meteors appear to emanate from this area of the night sky. Lyra rises before midnight and as it climbs higher in the sky during the late night into the early morning, more and more Lyrids will be visible.
As is the case with all meteor showers, you want to dress warmly, find a relaxing spot in a dark area (mountains, backyard, beach), be sure you have a wide view to the night sky, and have some patience. Observing is good with a friend or two, since you might see one meteor in a part of the sky where your friend is not looking, or vice versa.
I wish you dark skies and a pleasant night observing.
Image courtesy of Astronomy.com.
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