Lyrids 2024: All You Need to Know about the April’s Best Meteor Shower

~4 min

Finally, the annual meteor hiatus is over! The end of the January-April "dry" season is marked by the Lyrids, April's best meteor shower. Use the Sky Tonight app to find the best time for viewing these shooting stars, or read on for more details.


Lyrid meteor shower 2024

When to watch in 2024

The optimal viewing window spans from late evening on April 21 to dawn on April 22. According to the International Meteor Organization, the peak is expected on April 22, 2024, at 07:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Remember to convert this time to your local time zone.

Moon phase in 2024

Unfortunately, this year, the peak occurs only two days before the Full Moon, so the bright moonlight will certainly hide most meteors from the view. Try to block the moonlight with the trees. Read the other viewing tips below.

Where to look (radiant’s location)

The radiant of the Lyrids, the spot where the meteors seem to come from, is situated in the constellation Lyra. It becomes visible before midnight and reaches its highest point in the sky at dawn. The higher the radiant is in the sky, the more meteors you're likely to see. Use the Sky Tonight app to help you locate it effortlessly.

How many meteors to expect

Under ideal conditions, with no Moon, expect about 18 Lyrid meteors per hour. Occasionally they even burst with up to 100 meteors per hour! But in 2024, bright moonlight will challenge visibility, so you'll see only the brightest meteors.

View from the Northern Hemisphere

The April Lyrid meteors are visible from many sites north and south of the equator, however, they’re best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. Start your observations from mid-northern sites after about 22:30 local time.

View from the Southern Hemisphere

From the mid-southern latitudes, the meteors are better visible well after midnight. There, the radiant point rises lower in the sky, so observers will see fewer Lyrid meteors.

How to see the Lyrid meteor shower 2024?

The Lyrids are active from April 14-30 each year, with a peak on April 21-22. During the peak, observers can see about 18 meteors per hour under perfect viewing conditions. Flying at the velocity of 49 kilometers per second, the Lyrid meteors often leave persistent dust trails and can produce bright fireballs.

With the Moon shining brightly during the peak, it might be tough to spot the Lyrids. Here's how to improve your chances:

  • Hide from the Moon. Find a spot with tall mountains to block the Moon. If that's not possible, look for trees along a wide field edge or sit in the shadow of a building (for example, a barn). This makes the night darker, helping you see more meteors.

  • Patience pays off. The Moon outshines faint meteors, but brighter ones are still visible — it’s just a matter of time. Spend more hours observing to increase your chances.

  • Get comfortable. Bring a blanket or chair, dress warmly, and pack a thermos with a hot drink to make your stargazing experience more enjoyable.

Remember, stargazing can be challenging, but it's worth the effort!

Where to see the Lyrid meteor shower?

Generally, the observation window starts after the radiant point rises; the meteor shower is best seen when the radiant is highest in the sky. The Lyrids’ radiant point is located in the constellation Lyra, rather close to Vega, one of the brightest stars in the entire night sky. To find it in the sky, use the Sky Tonight app: type the “April Lyrids” in the search field and tap the target icon next to the correlating search result.

Don't be surprised by the "April" in the meteor shower's name! Although this shower is often referred to as the Lyrids for short, its official name is the April Lyrids. Being the most prolific meteor shower with the radiant in Lyra, it is not the only one. There are also the eta Lyrids, the June Lyrids, the mu Lyrids and many more.

During the observations, you don’t have to look directly at the radiant point — the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky. See how well-prepared you are for the meteor hunt with our fun and short quiz!

Meteor Showers Quiz
Think you’re a meteor mastermind? Dive into our quiz to see if you’re truly starry-eyed or just spaced out. 🌠 👀 Bonus: snag some pro tips to actually catch those elusive shooting stars!
Take the quiz!

What is the Lyrid meteor shower?

The Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers: it has been observed for 2700 years. The first recorded observation of these fast and bright meteors by the Chinese skygazers goes back to 687 BC!

Although the April Lyrid meteor shower is not as prolific as the famed August Perseids or the December Geminids, it can amaze observers with as many as 100 meteors per hour: such surges were observed in 1803, 1922, 1945, 1982, and 1985. It’s difficult to predict such outbursts, which are one of the reasons why the Lyrids are worth watching.

What causes the Lyrid meteor shower?

The constellation Lyra is not the source of the Lyrids; the radiant situated in the constellation only helps observers determine which shower they are watching on a particular night. The parent body of the Lyrid meteor shower is a long-period comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher) discovered on April 5, 1861, by the amateur astronomer A. E. Thatcher. When our planet passes through the trail left by the comet, the pieces of dust and debris comprising it burn up in the terrestrial atmosphere, producing dazzling lights in the sky.

The Lyrids 2024: Bottom line

The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the best stargazing events of April. It delivers 10-20 meteors per hour at its peak and is known for periodic bursts of activity. Check out our dedicated article to see what other meteor showers are peaking this season. Enjoy the beautiful meteors, take photos of them, and don’t forget to share them with us on social media.

Wishing you clear skies and happy stargazing!