Lights Off, Blankets Out: Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

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Seeing a meteor shower in action requires a certain amount of forethought.

Keen stargazers are in for a treat this weekend as the Lyrid meteor shower peaks in the night sky. Each year in mid-April, Earth comes across the stream of debris from the comet, which causes the Lyrid meteor shower.

While the Lyrid meteor shower has at times produced as many as 90 meteors per hour, this year skywatchers can expect to see about 18-20 per hour during its peak.

The morning of April 22 was reportedly the first peak night of the shower, but you likely have one more evening to see it at its height. No Lyrid meteor storm is expected this year ... but you never know.

The Lyrid is considered to be one of the oldest meteor showers known.

The Lyrids begin as tiny specks of dust that hit Earth's atmosphere at 109,600 miles per hour, vaporizing from friction with the air and leaving behind the streaks of light we call meteors, Astronomy magazine reported. Lyrids are so named because they appear to come from a point in the constellation Lyra.

These small pieces of dust smash into Earth's atmosphere at around 176,400 km/h (109,600 mph), "vaporising from friction with the air and leaving behind the streaks of light we call meteors, "Richard Talcott writes for Astronomy Magazine".

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The Lyrid meteor shower can be viewed from all over the world.

Moon is out of the way!

"These meteors usually lack persistent trains but can produce fireballs", the American Meteor Society said.

This is the second time in a week that viewers will be treated to an astronomical sky show.

Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you as it can be a waiting game.

Weather and cloud-permitting, prime viewing time is late tonight (April 21) and early tomorrow morning (April 22), with the absolute best action expected just before dawn.