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The annual Lyrids meteor shower peaks during the night of April 21st/22nd but unfortunately the full Moon will interfere significantly. Normally you would expect to see up to 20 meteors per hour under ideal conditions, however due to the presence of the Moon only the brightest few meteors will be visible. It is still worth looking outside as the Lyrids do occasionally produce brilliant fireballs that streak through the sky and cast shadows as they disintegrate in the Earth's atmosphere.

View early hours on the morning of April 22, 2016 from London, England (credit - stellarium/freestarcharts)

Unlike sporadic meteors that originate from anywhere in the sky periodic meteors can always be traced back to the same part of the sky called the radiant point. Therefore spotting the shooting stars couldn't be easier just focus on the radiant point. Not quite. The problem is that although the meteors originate from the radiant they almost always streak across the sky many degrees from where it's located! Therefore good advice is to lie down on something like a reclining chair, look skywards and scan a large area of sky surrounding the radiant, ideally with the Moon obscured behind a large building or something similar.

The Lyrids radiant is located inside Hercules very near to the border with Lyra and only 6 degrees from the 5th brightest star in the sky Vega (magnitude 0.0). The best time of night to observe meteors is during the early hours of the morning.

Lyrids Radiant and Star Chart (credit:- freestarcharts)

Lyrids Radiant and Star Chart - pdf format (credit:- freestarcharts)

Lyrids Meteor Shower Data Table

Meteor shower nameLyrids
Radiant ConstellationHercules / Lyra border
Dates16th April -> 26th April
Peak Date22nd April
RA (J2000)18hr 04m
DEC (J2000)+34d
Speed (km/s)49
ZHR 15
ParentC/1861 G1 Thatcher (comet)