By Mahita Gajanan
Updated: April 20, 2018 12:13 PM ET | Originally published: April 17, 2018

The annual Lyrid meteor shower will dazzle the skies this weekend, hitting its peak on Sunday before dawn. Here’s what you need to know about the can’t-miss meteor shower.

The Lyrid meteor shower, which started on Monday, will clearest in the hours before dawn on April 22, according to EarthSky, when the set moon won’t interfere with visibility. Observers may see between 10 and 20 meteors an hour at the Lyrid meteor shower’s peak.

For those looking forward to catching the Lyrid meteor shower at its peak, head out before dawn on Sunday, April 22. The waxing moon will set after midnight local time, leaving the sky open for visible meteors. Find a spot where the sky appears clear, without light pollution or large buildings. The Lyrids will continue to appear in the sky until April 25.

The sky will be clearest after midnight local time on April 22, which is the best moment to head out and see the meteors. Across the U.S., the best and clearest viewing conditions are expected in the northeastern and southwestern regions of the country, according to Accuweather. A cloud system is expected to spread from parts of the midwest to the south and into parts of the Appalachian mountains, blocking some visibility in those areas. Accuweather reports that some clouds are expected in the Northwest but that breaks in the sky will allow viewers to see some meteors.

 

A meteor from the Lyrid meteor shower streaks through the sky above a barn along a country road near Oakland, Ore. April 21, 2012.
Robin Loznak—Zuma Press/Corbis

The Lyrid meteor shower, which is one of the oldest meteor showers, occurs every year when the Earth crosses the orbital path of the Comet Thatcher, bringing pieces of the comet into the upper atmosphere that light up the sky as they burn up.

Lyrid meteors will streak in various directions, radiating from the constellation Lyra. Viewers don’t have to worry about finding the constellation, though, as meteors will appear across the sky at random times.

 

Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com.

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