Watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower Peak This Weekend — With Up to 15 Shooting Stars per Hour

This year’s new moon shower will be worth the lost sleep.

The annual April Lyrids meteor showers illuminate the night sky over the Jinshanling Great Wall on April 22, 2022 in Luanping County, Chengdu City, Hebei Province of China.

Zhou Wanping/VCG via Getty Images

One of the oldest known meteor showers could fill the night sky with 10 to 15 shooting stars per hour this weekend. The annual Lyrid meteor shower, which peaks the nights of April 22 and 23, couldn’t come at a better time: This week’s near-to-new moon promises jet-black skies and the perfect conditions for shooting stars and bright, colorful fireballs.

The Lyrids occur from April 15 to April 29, and will officially peak on April 22 at 9:04 p.m. EDT when the moon is only 9 percent full, according to Stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere will have the best view, but those in the Southern Hemisphere may also catch a few shooting stars.

How to watch the 2023 Lyrid meteor shower

To admire the Lyrids, look toward the shimmering Vega star in the Lyra constellation. It rises in the northeast skies before midnight. That means the best viewing is from midnight to dawn April 21 to April 22, and then again from April 22 to April 23.

Improve your meteor shower odds with a stargazing spot far from city lights, such as an International Dark Sky Association (IDA) dark-sky-certified park. (Consult the IDA’s robust map for the closest dark-sky escape near you.)

When strategizing your Lyrids perch, look for unobstructed views to the northeast and overhead — think beaches, prairies, hilltops, or sprawling deserts instead of dense forests.

You don’t need telescopes or binoculars to spot the Lyrids. Just give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness — that means no phones, headlights, or flashlights. Weather-wise, clear skies with minimal clouds are a must.

What will I see during the Lyrid meteor shower?

While we call them “shooting stars,” these sky streaks are actually tiny dust particles, often debris left by comets, that vaporize in Earth’s atmosphere, according to the Natural History Museum in London. The shimmering streak occurs when the dust interacts with Earth’s atmosphere.

You could see up to 15 of these dust trails per hour as the Lyrids peak this weekend. (According to, the Lyrids "are known for uncommon surges that can sometimes bring rates of up to 100 per hour.")

If you’re lucky, you may even spot an elusive fireball — a shimmering and colorful meteor that’s roughly the brightness of Venus.

If the Lyrids jumpstart your shooting star appetite, mark your calendar for the next meteor shower — the Eta Aquarids — which peaks overnight from May 5 to 6.

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