Every year in late April the Earth passes through the dusty tail of Comet Thatcher, and the encounter causes a meteor shower--the Lyrids. This year the shower peaks on Saturday night, April 21st. Forecasters expect 10 to 20 meteors per hour, although outbursts as high as 100 meteors per hour are possible. The first significant meteor shower since January!
The Lyrids are one of the weaker annual meteor showers, compared to the Perseids in August, but this year the Lyrids coincide with a new moon. That means the sky will be darker and the seeing will be better.
Be alert; most meteors streak by in a second or less, sometimes in clusters. The best way to see them is to find a nice, dark place and as few trees as possible, and look up. The streaks could appear anywhere in the sky, though they'll seem to come from the constellation Lyra in the northeast. Hope for a clear sky, set your alarm for midnight and grab your sleeping bag!
Posted by AMC Naturalist at 12:26 PM