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Meteor showers occur when Earth passes through a trail of debris left by comets (balls of ice) orbiting the Sun.  There are at least nine major meteor showers that can be observed on an annual basis.  One of them is the Lyrid meteor shower which is active this month from April 16 -25. 

Its peak will be from April 22 to April 23 (though some sources say April 21 to 22).  Most meteors will come from the area of the sky between Vega and Hercules.  As with all meteor showers, the Lyrids are best observed after midnight and before dawn. 

Although the Lyrid meteor shower is not prolific (it averages 10 to 15 meteors per hour), it does produce some of the brightest and faster streaks across the sky.  The meteors are associated with Comet Thatcher and the shower is the oldest one ever recorded, being documented in 687 BC by a Chinese astronomer who wrote that “at midnight stars dropped down like rain.”

For more information about what’s in the night sky this month, see my post Stargazers’ Almanac: April 2022.