Spring is fireball season, and this April will be sure to live up to that with the peak of the annual Lyrid meteor shower this week. The Lyrids are active each year from about April 16 to 25 and peak around April 22, which is Earth Day, and can often appear as bright fireballs.
The peak of the Lyrids tends to come in a short burst, so you will have a brief opportunity to catch some shooting stars before they are gone until next year. The Lyrid meteor shower is a result of the Earth passing through the debris trail of the comet Thatcher. If you trace the paths of all the Lyrid meteors backward, they seem to radiate from the constellation Lyra the Harp, near the brilliant star Vega. A starting point to look would be high in the eastern sky around 3 a.m. on the morning of the peak.
Check out the following list for more information on the Lyrids...
The annual Lyrid meteor shower runs from April 16-25, but the peak is often around April 22. Sky-watchers can expect to see around 10 to 20 meteors per hour in a moonless sky.
Most of the Lyrids are microscopic and move at speeds of over 110,000 mph. Quite often, Lyrid meteors can appear as very bright fireballs...sometimes leaving smoky trails in the sky.
Lyrid Sky-Watching Conditions
A cold front slicing through the Great Lakes late Monday into Tuesday will dampen sky-watching for the Lyrids, possibly stretching down into portions of east Texas. The best spots for viewing will be across the central Plains and into the southern Rockies, as well as the southeastern states.