It's been months since a meteor shower last graced the skies over the United States. Fortunately, it's getting warmer, and the prospect of sitting outside to spot streaks of light across the night sky is a little more appealing.
The Lyrid Meteor Shower will arrive the night of April 21 into the morning of April 22. The Lyrids come from the Comet Thatcher, which only makes a trip around the sun every 415 years. Bill Cooke, who leads NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, tells Thrillist you should only expect between 10 and 15 meteors per hour this year. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Space Science Telescope Institute suggest we may even get as many as 20 per hour on the night of the peak.
The celestial show produced by the Lyrids tends to lack persistent trains (the tail of the meteor). However, it is capable of occasionally producing fireballs, which are essentially just extremely bright meteors. The shower produces a relatively low rate of meteors compared to some of the year's best showers. Additionally, the moon is at first-quarter phase, which is relatively bright. However, when the moon sets just after midnight, you should have great conditions for meteor watching.