2020 Lyrid meteor shower will reach its peak this Tuesday, April 21

FILE - The April Lyrids, a meteor shower lasting from April 16 to April 26 each year, is seen over the ancient city of Aizanoi in Kutahya, Turkey on April 23, 2014. ( The April Lyrids, a meteor shower lasting from April 16 to April 26 each year, is seen over the ancient city of Aizanoi in Kutahya, Turkey on April 23, 2014. )

The 2020 Lyrid Meteor shower will reach its peak on Tuesday, April 21, as stargazers are treated to a spectacle of up to 20 meteors per hour. 

The annual meteor shower will coincide with the new moon, which means that barely any lunar light will block viewers from reveling in the celestial light show. 

The shower typically appears in the sky every year between April 15 and April 25, according to NASA, but the showers peak which has been known to showcase outbursts of up to 100 meteors per hour will occur on April 21.

One comet’s trash is another human’s treasure

While beautiful to many, the Lyrids are actually pieces of space debris left over from the periodic Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, according to NASA. The shower has been observed for over 2,600 years and in mid-April, Earth finds itself in the cross hairs of this stream of space junk which originates from the constellation Lyra. 

For those living in a major city, it may be a little more difficult to view the shower this year due to coronavirus lockdowns. However, a darker area far from the impacts of light pollution is the best place to view the the dazzling night show and most won’t even need a telescope, but the Northern Hemisphere is still the best place to view them. 

“After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors,” says NASA. “Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.”