Lyrid Meteor Shower in 2018

The Lyrids peak on April 22–23. A Half Moon may make viewing conditions difficult. Named after constellation Lyra, the Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers.

Where Can I See the Lyrids?

The radiant, the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from, lies near Vega, one of the brightest stars this time of the year.

Peak dates:

Beta The animation shows the position of the radiant (the red circle) in the night sky above Washington DC ...Change location

All times shown are local times. Use the Select night drop-down menu above the animation to select other dates. Click on the Peak dates link above the animation to select the night when the meteor shower peaks. Press the play button (►) to see how the radiant will move across the sky through the night with respect to your position on the ground. Alternatively, you can rotate the sky manually by using your mouse or touchpad. Clicking on the red arrow will take you back to the radiant.

During the nights of meteor shower activity, the animation automatically shows the real-time position of the radiant. Clicking the LIVE button, changing dates, or manually rotating the sky will take you out of the live mode.

The animation is representative; it does not show the exact numbers of meteors visible at any given time. You could see more or fewer shooting stars depending on the level of meteor shower activity.

When Can I See the Lyrids?

April Lyrid Meteor Shower image.
The Lyrids produce about 15-20 meteors an hour.
The Lyrids produce about 15-20 meteors an hour.

The Lyrid Meteor Shower is usually active between April 16 and 25 every year. It tends to peak around April 22 or 23.

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

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

Dust From Comet Thatcher

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

Location in the Sky Tonight

A slight chance to see Lyrids; the table below is updated daily and shows the position for the coming night.

Lyrids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between April 20 and April 21)
Fri 9:00 pm44°Northeast0.7°
Fri 10:00 pm53°Northeast9.1°
Fri 11:00 pm61°East-northeast18.9°
Sat 12:00 midnight68°East-northeast29.4°
Sat 1:00 am75°East-northeast40.5°
Sat 2:00 am82°East51.9°
Sat 3:00 am90°East63.5°
Sat 4:00 am104°East-southeast75.1°
Sat 5:00 am157°South-southeast84.7°

Direction to see the Lyrids in the sky:

Note that this is not the prime period to watch the Lyrids, so there may be few or no meteors visible this night. 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 light.
  • Prepare to wait: Bring something to sit or lie down on. Stargazing is a waiting game, so get comfortable.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, Comets, April


Meteor Showers Library

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

What Is a Meteor Shower?

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