Lyrid Meteor Shower 2016: How and When to Watch the Annual Show

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Where there's a will, there's a way — this month's Lyrid meteor shower will peak in the early hours of Friday morning. The lunar cycle is expected to put a damper on the event, however: There's also a full moon on Friday, and its light will likely cloud the view for most observers. 

Read more: Halley's Comet Is Going to Put on a Spectacular Meteor Shower in April

Those who are determined to see some meteors are advised to head for rural landscapes. As National Geographic put it, "To catch the 2016 Lyrids, your best bet will be to turn your back on the setting full moon in the west in the early morning hours." So find a flat, comfortable space with a good and unpolluted view of the open sky, lie down on it, wait and watch. 

A photo taken in April 2015 shows lyrics streaking close to the Milky Way.
Source: 
Ye Aung Thu/Getty Images

As EarthSky reported, one would usually expect to see between 10 to 20 meteors per hour without a spotlight-stealing full moon. While the 2016 Lyrid shower will likely yield far fewer meteor sitings, it's possible that a few will shine through the moon's obtrusive beams.

The astronomically inclined should plan to wake up early if they want to improve their chances of seeing those. Optimum Lyrid viewing time will be after midnight and before dawn — roughly 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Eastern. 

Source: Giphy

Meteor showers are named for the constellations from which the individual meteors appear to shoot. The Lyrid meteor shower is named after the Lyra constellation, which is roughly harp-shaped and near the bright star Vega. 2016's Lyrid meteor shower began on Saturday and will end on Monday; according to EarthSky, Lyrid showers enjoy "the distinction of being among the oldest of known meteor showers," with the first event on record dating back to 687 B.C. in China.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.