Lyrid meteor shower 2017: When will it peak and how to watch

The Lyrid meteor shower will peak overnight on 21/22 April, and we'll be treated to pretty uninterrupted dark skies thanks to a waning crescent Moon.

According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory this year's peak viewing nights will be April 22 and 23.

You'll need to head somewhere dark, preferably away from city lights, and give yourself at least an hour to watch the skies so your eyes have time to adjust - don't forget a blanket or hot drinks to stay warm. Also, the best viewing should happen during the pre-dawn hours of 2-5AM.

The biggest free light show could be in the sky Friday night and into Saturday.

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The Lyrid meteors are really pieces of debris from a comet named Thatcher (or Comet C/1861 G1).

In terms of the best physical location to spot the show, the western side of the United States and the Great Lakes are being treated to clear skies tonight. Find Vega and Lyra high in the eastern sky a few hours after midnight this month. This year, conditions look ideal for a clear view of the meteor shower. But the meteors themselves are often fast and bright. Luckily, the Moon is now waning, which will make it easier to see the meteors because it won't provide as much light pollution. The moon will have nearly reached its "new moon" phase, creating a dark, moon-less night and the flawless viewing conditions for a meteor shower, JPL said.

This is the second time in a week that viewers will be treated to an astronomical sky show. The peak numbers are expected to fall on the morning of April 22.

It's recommended that you step outside and look up at the sky 20 minutes before the shower is due to take place.

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