The Lyrid Meteor shower is usually active between the 16th and the 25th of April every year. The 2020 Lyrid shower is going to peak tonight, on the 21st of April, and in the early hours of the 22nd of April, one hour before the New Moon. Thanks to the New Moon and the clear sky, the shower will be in full effect in several regions.

The Lyrid Meteors represent bits of dust and rock left by Thatcher, the Comet C/1861 G., which takes 415 years to orbit the Sun. The comet is expected to be visible from the Earth in 2276. Every year, the Earth drifts through debris from an earlier comet and these particles collide with the upper atmosphere at a speed of 43 km per second.

The peak will last for several hours. During the peak, observers from the Northern Hemisphere can see 10 – 20 meteors per hour. According to Observer’s Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the maximum will occur at 2 a.m. EDT which is thought to be the best timing for observers of North America.

The Meteors` path seems to starts from a point in the sky nearly 7 degrees southwest of the star Vega in the constellation Lyra. The meteor radiant point is found on the border between the constellation Lyra and Hercules.

The Lyrid Meteor shower, named after the constellation Lyra, is one of the oldest recorded showers, as the Chinese saw it 2.700 years ago.