SoCal Sky Lights!

Last updated on

The Lyrids Meteor Shower

In the middle of Spring, take advantage of the improving weather to watch the debris from Comet Thatcher (which last visited our planet's vicinity in 1861) sprinkle meteor trails in the sky.

The Lyrids meteor shower is a very short show: It appears around the evening of April 21 through morning of April 23 each year.

In 2024, the Lyrids meteors will have some competition from the moon, which will be nearly full. They Lyrids tend to leave a persistent luminous trail behind them, which is best observed in dark sky conditions.

The best time to view the Lyrids is from late evening through dawn. Find a place with dark skies, and set out a sleeping bag. Climb in and watch. The meteors will appear anywhere in the sky, but their trails will mostly tend to track back to near the constellation Lyra, which is high in the sky at midnight. And thus derives the name of this shower (as is true for all meteor showers).

To view a meteor shower, find yourself a dark location (away from lights) with a good view of the sky. Although the shower radiant (Lyra) is near the zenith of the sky, you will want to view as much of the entire sky as possible. The meteors don't usually appear in the radiant itself. guide

Get a lawn chair and sleeping bag, and just "space out", taking in the night sky as a whole. Or, you might take the opportunity to drag out your telescope (or even just your binoculars) to view some astronomical objects, in between your meteor observations.

Don't try to use the binoculars or a 'scope to observe meteors -- they are too unpredictable, and move too fast.

You can find more details at

To join our mailing list, click here and follow the instructions for "Subscribing to Skylights".

Questions? Suggestions? Special Requests?  Email
SoCal SkyLights Home Page