From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Here's When You Can See the Lyrid Meteor Shower in 2021

One of the oldest known meteor showers will peak on April 21, 2021.

MOST READ TRAVEL
Where to Stay, Eat, and Shop in Los Angeles

Guides

Where to Stay, Eat, and Shop in Los Angeles

A New Yorker’s take on iconic hotels, the best new eats, and hidden-gem boutiques...

In a Pickle

Outdoors

In a Pickle

Why pickleball is the feel-good game craze we all need right now.

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Italian Coffee

Food and Drink

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Italian Coffee

Unpacking the history, allure, and ways to use the humble Moka pot.

Next month, one of the oldest known meteor showers will peak in the U.S. The Lyrid meteor shower, which is named after a constellation of shooting stars, will peak on the night of April 21, 2021, and the wee morning hours of April 22. Observations of the Lyrids date back to 687 B.C. The mesmerizing display of meteors is a result of Earth passing through the tail of the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. As our planet moves through the debris, space rocks burn up the Earth's atmosphere, which causes spectacular showers to streak across the night sky.

RELATED: Your Cosmic Address Is the Trippiest Thing You'll Learn Today

Although experts expect that the showers will peak during late April, they say that this is not only one of the weakest meteor showers, but it is also one of the most unpredictable. "We like to say that meteor showers are like fishing. You go out in the country to some scenic spot, and you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. And sometimes you catch something," Deborah Byrd, editor-in-chief of EarthSky, told TODAY.

At its peak, the meteor shower will only produce about 20 shooting stars per hour. Every so often, however, you may catch a glimpse of up to 100 meteors per hour, a phenomenon known as an "outburst." Meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space that he expects this year's shower will produce approximately 10 meteor showers per hour. "People say there is some periodicity there, but the data doesn't support that," he says.

RELATED: 10 Space Gifts for Astronomy Lovers

The meteor shower will be best be viewed in the Northern Hemisphere on a clear night. The Lyrid meteor shower is not dull, but it's certainly not the most luminous, especially compared to the Perseid meteor shower, which occurs in August of each year.

Newsletter

Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.