Monday marked the beginning of the annual Lyrid meteor shower, EarthSky reported. Lasting for nine days — until April 25 — the shower is composed of debris from the comet Thatcher, whose orbit crosses Earth's around this time every year. The comet was last spotted in 1861, and its 415-year-long orbit means it won't return until 2276.
But while we earthlings won't get to see the full-on comet, we will get to see parts of it light up the sky. The Lyrids are named after the Lyra constellation, the closest one to where they typically appear in the night sky. They comprise one of the oldest observed meteor showers, with early records of the Lyrid meteor shower dating back to 687 B.C., Business Insider notes.
The most meteors are expected to be visible from April 21 to April 23, with the peak just before dawn on April 22, Business Insider reported. Because of the waxing moon, it's expected that about 10 to 20 falling meteors per hour will be visible in areas of low light pollution during the peak. The brightness of the shower should enable it to be observed by the naked eye, and Business Insider noted that narrowing your point of view with a telescope might actually make you more likely to miss meteors falling.
Read more about how best to get a peek at EarthSky.