Nighttime sky watchers in the Northern Hemisphere will be treated to many shooting stars this weekend as the Lyrid Meteor Shower peaks. The meteors are called “Lyrids” because they appear near the constellation Lyra. Astronomers believe there will be 5-10 shooting stars per hour tomorrow and Monday with as many as 10-20 per hour on the peak day Sunday. The absolute best time to view them will between 2am and 4am after the moon sets and before the sun rises. To see them, you need to be in cloud-free skies void of light pollution. While not as spectacular as the August Perseids or the December Geminids, the Lyrids should put on a good show. The meteors will appear to move fairly fast, appearing to streak through the atmosphere at an extremely brisk 30 miles per second. About a quarter of these will leave persistent trains in their wake, making for an interesting nighttime sky.
The best way to view this meteor shower is to look straight up. Lie flat on the ground and look straight up and enjoy the show in space.