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Lights Off, Blankets Out: Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

22 April 2017
Lights Off, Blankets Out: Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Sky gazers could be treated to 18-20 fireballs an hour overnight Friday, April 21 and into Saturday morning with the annual Lyrid meteor shower.

If you're looking to spot some of the meteors, all you have to do is look up. Each year in mid-April, Earth comes across the stream of debris from the comet, which causes the Lyrid meteor shower.

Meteor showers are named after the constellation coinciding with the area in the sky from which the meteors seem to emanate.

AccuWeather said that this will be an excellent year for viewing the Lyrids as the peak falls just a few days before the new moon and light from the moon will not interfere much with viewing conditions.

The meteor shower sometimes bombards the sky with up to almost 100 meteors per hour, Earthsky.org reports. The higher Vega is in the sky, the more Lyrids are likely to be seen. The second meteor shower of the year will peak during Saturday's early morning hours.

The Lyrids are generally fast and bright and not only produce trains, but also occasional fireballs, or exceptionally bright meteors, King added.

The best time for viewing is a few hours before dawn.

"If you want to catch them, I guess that's the place to go", Gaebel said. "Bring along warm clothes and a blanket".

AccuWeather notes that the best viewing conditions will come from the western Great Lakes where clear skies should produce "uninterrupted viewing conditions".