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2015 Lyrids meteor shower

The Lyrids are will peak on April 22, 2015. A waxing crescent Moon will create good viewing conditions. Those in Europe are best located to view the meteor shower. The best time to watch it is after midnight on April 22.

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

The Lyrids meteor shower are usually active between April 16 and April 25 every year. It tends to peak around April 22 or April 23.

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.

The Lyrids are associated with comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun.

Where to view the Lyrids

While observers 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.

It is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower – just lay down on the ground and look directly above and you are bound to see some meteors. However, astronomers suggest lying down on the ground looking towards the East and look at the sky above you to view the Lyrids.

When to view the Lyrids

The best time to view the Lyrids is after nightfall and before dawn.

Location in the sky

The Lyrids meteor shower is not visible at this time of year. The best date is around Apr 22, 2015, table below is for that date:
Lyrids meteor shower for New York (Night between Apr 22 and Apr 23)
TimeAzimuth/
Direction
Altitude
Wed 9:00 PM47°Northeast1.7°
Wed 10:00 PM56°East-northeast10.5°
Wed 11:00 PM65°East-northeast20.3°
Midnight Wed-Thu73°East-northeast30.9°
Thu 1:00 AM80°East42.0°
Thu 2:00 AM89°East53.3°
Thu 3:00 AM101°East64.7°
Thu 4:00 AM122°East-southeast75.4°
Thu 5:00 AM182°South81.3°
Note: times are for Apr 22, 2015.
Set your location

How to view the Lyrids

There isn’t a lot of skill involved in watching a meteor shower. Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for the Lyrids:

  • Get out of the city to a place where city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of star gazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can’t see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.
  • Check the weather and moonrise and moonset timings for your location before you leave, and plan your viewing around it.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, Moon, April

In this Article

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All about meteor showers

  1. A handy guide to meteor showers
  2. October 2014: Orionids
  3. November 2014: Leonids
  4. December 2014: Geminids
  5. December 2014: Ursids
  6. January 2015: Quadrantids
  7. April 2015: Lyrids
  8. May 2015: Eta Aquarids
  9. August 2015: Perseids
  10. October 2015: Draconids

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