Lyrid Meteor Shower in 2016

In 2016, the Lyrids are expected peak on April 22 and 23. A Full Moon on April 21, 2016 will make it difficult for observers to view the meteor shower.

Illustration image
A Lyrid meteor over the Earth.
Picture of the Earth and a Lyrid meteor taken by astronaut Don Pettit.
NASA/MSFC/MEO

When Can I See the Lyrids?

The Lyrid Meteor Shower is usually active between April 16 and April 25 every year. It tends to peak around April 22 or April 23. The best time to watch it is after midnight and before dawn.

The best time to see shooting stars from the Lyrids is after nightfall and before dawn, weather permitting, of course.

Sunrise and Sunset in my City

Dust From Comet Thatcher

The Lyrids are created by debris from comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun.

Where Can I See the Lyrids?

Considered to be the oldest known meteor shower, the Lyrids are named after constellation Lyra. The radiant point of the shower - the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from - lies near the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky during this time of the year.

While people in the Northern Hemisphere are best located to view the Lyrids, those in mid Southern Hemisphere latitudes can also see the shower between midnight and dawn.

Astronomers suggest looking up towards the East to see shooting stars from the Lyrids, the table below shows the exact direction of the Lyrids from your location.

Location in the sky

The Lyrids meteor shower is not visible at this time of year. The best date is around Apr 22, 2016, table below is for that date:
Lyrids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between Apr 22 and Apr 23)
TimeAzimuth/DirectionAltitude
Fri 10:00 PM55°Northeast7.8°
Fri 11:00 PM63°East-northeast17.8°
Midnight Fri-Sat70°East-northeast28.5°
Sat 1:00 AM78°East-northeast39.7°
Sat 2:00 AM85°East51.3°
Sat 3:00 AM95°East63.0°
Sat 4:00 AM111°East-southeast74.4°
Sat 5:00 AM165°South-southeast82.9°
Note: times are for Apr 22, 2016.
Set your location

How to Watch Meteor Showers

  • Check the weather: Meteors, or shooting stars, are easy to spot, all you need is clear skies and a pair of eyes.
  • Get out of town: Find a place as far away as possible from artificial lights
  • Prepare to wait: Bring something to sit or lie down on. Star gazing is a waiting game, so get comfortable.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, Comets

In this Article

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Meteor Showers Library

  1. May 2015: Eta Aquarids
  2. August 2015: Perseids
  3. October 2015: Draconids
  4. October 2015: Orionids
  5. November 2015: Leonids
  6. December 2015: Geminids
  7. December 2015: Ursids
  8. January 2016: Quadrantids
  9. April 2016: Lyrids

What is a Meteor Shower?

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