A months-long pause in known meteor showers ends when the Lyrids begin to prick the night sky this week.
The Lyrids fired up Monday and will peak Saturday. Unfortunately, the peak hour will be at 1 p.m. for Florida, so the best time to view the peak of the Lyrids is Friday night or Saturday morning about an hour before dawn.
South Florida is forecast to have clear skies Friday and Saturday.
The American Meteor Society said the Lyrids will be most active during a waning crescent moon, which is better than a full moon as far as light pollution, but still could cause some interference.
“It would be best to face toward the northern half of the sky with the moon at your back,” AMS recommends. “This will allow you to see the fainter Lyrids, which will be more numerous than the bright ones.”
Vega, the 5th brightest star, is near the radiant point for the Lyrids, but you don’t have to find Vega to see a meteor.
The Lyrids is one of the oldest known meteor showers, with records going back about 2,700 years, EarthSky says. They are created by debris from the comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the sun, according to Time and Date.com.
While the Lyrids can be a modest show, several outbursts have occurred with an event in 1982 sending as many as 100 meteors per hour toward Earth.
EarthSky said it’s more likely that about 10 to 20 meteors per hour will be seen in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday.
Also, the Lyrids are known for producing fireballs.
“Meteor showers are notorious for being fickle so you really never know for sure what’s in store unless you watch,” EarthSky notes.