The Lyrid meteor shower 2022 is expected to peak between April 21 and April 23 and here's how you can see it
A sky full of shooting stars could be seen over the next few nights as the dusty trail of a comet leaves its mark in a spectacular meteor shower.
The Lyrid shower is a burst of meteor activity that occurs ever year in mid to late April but the potentially dazzling display is expected to peak over the coming days.
Meteors are chunks of debris which have broken away from celestial objects such as asteroids and comets and when the Earth passes through the trail of material, pieces can pass into our atmosphere.
The Lyrid meteors have come from the comet Thatcher, which last passed close to the Sun in 1861 and will appear as short-lived streaks of light in the sky.
While the meteor shower has been taking place for around a week and is expected to last until April 30, experts expect the activity to be at its biggest and best from now until Saturday (April 23).
Lyrid showers can deposit anything up to 20 meteors in the sky every hour depending on how favourable the weather conditions are.
Experts at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich suggest anyone wishing to catch a glimpse of the display heads outside with warm clothes and a blanket – or even a reclining chair – while the advice to find a viewing spot with as little light pollution as possible should also enhance your chances of seeing the event – clear skies depending.
However the Moon could make conditions this year not as favourable as they have been in the past.
The Royal Museums Greenwich website explains: "As with all meteor showers, the main thing for seeing the Lyrids is to find a dark site with an unobstructed view of the sky. The number of meteors you actually see will depend on all sorts of things, from the time of night to the level of background light. A bright sky will drown out the fainter meteors making them much more difficult to see.
"Unfortunately, this year the Lyrids begins on 14 April, two days before a full Moon, and comes to a maximum on 22-23 April, two days before the last quarter Moon, so conditions are unfavourable."
The best time to catch the showers generally, says the Observatory, is during the very early mornings of the peak days, so those keen on catching the displays might be best to stay up late and head outside some time after midnight over the next few evenings.