Lyrid meteor shower starts Monday night

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The Lyrid meteor shower has come around again, it is active each year from about April 16 to 25.

The meteor shower sometimes bombards the sky with up to almost 100 meteors per hour. Don't look directly toward the radiant, though, because you might miss the meteors with the longest tails.

The Lyrid meteor shower is of medium brightness, but not as luminous as the famous Perseid meteor shower in August, which tends to produce more prominent trails, Cooke said.

There should be around 10-20 meteors per hour at the shower's peak on the morning of April 22, according to EarthSky.

Friday night's forecast is clear, so those determined to see a Lyrid meteor may want to consider looking skyward in the hours of early Saturday morning instead. Its peak will occur on the night of May 5 and last until May 6.

Astrophotographer Mark Lissick sent in a photo of Lyrid meteors and the Milky Way, taken on April 22, 2013, in Hope Valley, California (near Lake Tahoe).

"The moon will be really favorable for them this year; it will set by the time the Lyrid radiant is high in the sky", Cooke explained.

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The moon will be a quarter moon on Sunday, not bright enough to cause too much trouble.

The meteor shower gets its name because it appears from a point to the right of the blue-white star Vega, which is the brightest light in the constellation - Lyra the Harp. Keep in mind to allow your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the dark, The Indy Channel advises, and enjoy the magnificent show. But meteors should be visible across the sky.

Even though the main event of this celestial display is announced for April 22, it wouldn't hurt to keep your eyes peeled on April 21 and 23 as well, EarthSky notes.

Lyrids are pieces of debris from the Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher and have been observed for more than 2,700 years, NASA said, which makes them one of the oldest known showers.

Comet Thatcher last visited the inner solar system in 1861 and will not return until the year 2276. That's why they happen around the same time every year and appear to originate from specific points in the sky.

Adding to next weekend's excitement, stargazers will be delighted to know that the Lyrids are not the only meteor shower that will be going on in April.