Nation & World

Lyrid meteor shower is back. Here’s how to see it in California

Beginning Tuesday night, keep your eyes trained on the sky for an astronomical treat: a meteor shower.

The Lyrid meteor shower typically appears in April.

This year, the shower will last from the evening of April 16 to April 25 and is expected to peak early in the morning of April 22, Bill Cooke, the lead of NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office, told

But there’s a problem.

“A waning gibbous moon (very close to full) will wash out all but the very brightest meteors this year during the peak,” wrote.

In general, about 10 to 20 meteors per hour can be seen during the shower’s peak, though in the past, viewers have reported seeing as many as 100 meteors per hour at the peak, according to NASA.

The Lyrid meteor shower is known for “fast and bright meteors,” the agency said. It has been observed for 2,700 years and is one of the oldest known meteor showers, NASA said.

The Lyrids got their name from the constellation Lyra, which is the meteors’ radiant, or, the point in the sky that they appear to come from, NASA said.

If you’re looking for the meteors, don’t look directly at their radiant, NASA said. Looking away from the radiant makes the meteors appear “longer and more spectacular.”

The best place to see the meteor shower is in the Northern Hemisphere during the “dark hours” after the moon sets and before dawn, NASA said. Of course, you’ll have better luck seeing the meteors in an area away from city lights.

NASA recommends lying flat on your back with feet facing east. Look up and give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust; then you’ll start seeing meteors.

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