Watch for the Lyrid meteor shower this month

(Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images/Getty Images via CNN)
(Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images/Getty Images via CNN)

The first meteor shower of spring, known as the Lyrid meteor shower, will present nights of skywatching beginning next week. 

According to NASA, the Lyrids arrive between April 16 and April 29, and the shower is expected to peak on April 22. Experts say the viewing this year will be especially brilliant since the waxing crescent moon will be illuminated at 6% that night.

The shower occurs this time each year when Earth's orbit crosses paths with that of Comet Thatcher. The comet loses pieces of itself that go flying into our upper atmosphere at 110,000 miles per hour.


Lyrid gets its name from the Lyra constellation. The Lyrid shower is one of the oldest known, with records of visible meteors going back 2,700 years, according to EarthSky.

If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a place that isn't littered with city lights that will obstruct your view.

Find an open area with a wide view of the sky. Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look straight up. And give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness -- without looking at your phone -- so meteors are easier to spot.