The Lyrid Meteor Shower is Approaching its Peak

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When the bits of rock, ice and dust left behind by a larger object collide with Earth's atmosphere, they burn up, creating bright streaks across the night sky.

This specific meteor shower, Lyrid, is associated with Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher.

The best time for people see the meteor shower is believed to be a few hours before sunrise Wednesday, but some meteors could be visible until April 25, depending on weather conditions.

Experts advise finding a stretch of open, dark night sky, away from artificial lighting.

Astronomy magazine says the view should be particularly good, since the almost-new moon won't wash out the meteor showers.

At their peak, the meteor shower will produce between 15 and 20 meteors per hour - an admittedly modest show, but a show nonetheless.

If you aren't in a spot where you'll be able to view the Lyrids but still want to watch, visit the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page.

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"While the Lyrid meteors will be visible all across the sky".

The awesome sight happens every year and will be particularly visible this year between 21 and 22 April. Current model projections do suggest that there may be breaks in the cloud cover at times, so there may be windows suitable for viewing, but a completely clear sky just does not appear to be in the cards.

It's the first shower since early January so even though it's a relatively calm show compared to others, it's welcomed by meteor-watchers and is the oldest recorded meteor-shower - with the first sighting from ancient China in 687 BC.

The Comet Thatcher is one of eight great comets known to man in the 19th century.

The Met Office forecast a clear night for most of the United Kingdom, so the Lyrids should be clearly visible from people's gardens, even with the naked eye. You can tell if a meteor belongs to a particular shower by tracing back its path to see if it originates near a specific point in the sky, called the radiant.

You don't need to go anywhere special to see it from the United Kingdom - just outside and give your eyes half an hour to get used to the dark.

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