The Lyrids peak on April 22–23. A waning gibbous Moon may make viewing conditions difficult. Named after constellation Lyra, the Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers.
Best in the Northern Hemisphere
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.
What Time Does the Meteor Shower Peak?
The table is updated daily and shows the position of the Lyrids radiant in the sky for the upcoming night. Use the date drop down above the Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map to change dates.
|Lyrids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between April 22 and April 23)|
|Mon 9:00 pm||44°||0.5°|
|Mon 10:00 pm||53°||8.9°|
|Mon 11:00 pm||61°||18.6°|
|Tue 12:00 midnight||68°||29.1°|
|Tue 1:00 am||75°||40.2°|
|Tue 2:00 am||82°||51.6°|
|Tue 3:00 am||90°||63.2°|
|Tue 4:00 am||103°||74.8°|
|Tue 5:00 am||153°||84.6°|
|Tue 6:00 am||247°||79.2°|
Direction to see the Lyrids in the sky:
- Azimuth is the direction, based on true north; a compass might show a slightly different value.
- Altitude is height in degrees over horizon.
How to See the Lyrids
You don't need any special equipment or a lot of skills to view a meteor shower. Even though all you really need is a clear sky, lots of patience, and our handy Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map with a visibility conditions meter to see a meteor shower, the following tips can help maximize your shooting star viewing experience.
- Find a secluded viewing spot, away from the city lights. Once at the venue, your eyes may take 15 to 20 minutes to get used to the dark.
- Dress for the weather, and make sure you are comfortable, especially if you plan to stay out long. Bring a blanket or a comfortable chair with you—meteor watching can be a waiting game.
- Once you have found your viewing spot, lie down on the ground and look up in the direction of the radiant. Use our Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map or the table above to find the current direction of the radiant in the sky.