Lyrid Meteor Shower of 2012: A Skywatching Resource

Lyrid Meteors Sky Map
The meteors of the Lyrid meteor appear to originate on the border between Lyra and Hercules. (Image credit: Starry Night Software)

The 2012 Lyrid meteor shower peaks overnight between late Saturday, April 21, and early Sunday, April 22. The meteors will appear to radiate outward from the constellation Lyra and the best time to see them will be between midnight and sunrise on Sunday morning.

The Lyrids occur each year in mid-April when the Earth passes through a stream of dust left over from the comet Thatcher, a long-period object that orbits the sun once every 415 years. Learn more about how to observe the Lyrid meteor shower of 2012 in this archive of meteor shower observing guides and recent Lyrid skywatching stories.

Submit your photos! If you snap an amazing photo of the Lyrid meteor shower or other skywatching target and you'd like to share it for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at


Gallery: The 2012 Lyrid Meteor
The Lyrid meteor shower of 2012 peaks on April 21 and April 22. Learn how to see the Lyrids and how NASA plans to observe from Earth and space.

2012 Lyrids: Comet Thatcher's Yearly Attack on Earth (Video)
Get the inside story on the annual Lyrid meteor shower each April here.

Meteor Shower Mania: How Well Do You Know 'Shooting Stars'?
Test your meteor shower smarts with this quiz on "falling stars."

Evening Planets and Lyrid Meteors Reign – April Skywatching (Video)
The Lyrid meteor shower is not alone in April's night sky. See what else is up this month in this NASA video.

Friday, April 20

Weekend Lyrid Meteor Shower Visible From Earth, Space and ... Balloon?
The annual Lyrid meteor shower will hit its peak this weekend and promises to put on an eye-catching display. So much so, NASA is pulling out all the stops.

NASA's "Lyrids Up All Night" Webchat (April 21 from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. EDT (0400-0900 GMT):

A live video feed from NASA's all-sky camera network is available here:

Wednesday, April 18

Lyrid Meteor Shower: Tips to See April's 'Shooting Stars'
The week ahead promises to be a perfect time to observe meteors. That's great news since the Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Sunday (April 22), but any night this week should be a good night to see meteors.

Monday, April 16

Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week
An annual meteor shower peaks this weekend, a time when dark skies should make for great viewing opportunities in the Northern Hemisphere.

Tuesday, April 3

Lyrid Meteor Shower to Grace Dark April Skies
Skywatchers are in for a treat in late April: An annual meteor shower will peak when the moon's absence leaves the night sky dark and great for viewing.

More meteor shower resources and links:

Must-See Skywatching Events for April 2012
In April 2012, the brilliant planet Venus will shine at its brightest for the year and the Lyrid meteor shower will light up the night sky. But these are just a couple of the must-see skywatching events in the weeks ahead. Take a look at April's best skywatching events below and happy stargazing!

2012 Meteor Shower Skywatching Calendar
A meteor showers can be a dazzling experience for amateur skywatchers and professional scientists alike and in 2012 the annual "shooting star" schedule will continue.

Meteor Showers and Shooting Stars: Formation, Facts and Discovery Watching a meteor shower on a clear, dark night is an unforgettable experience. Learn more about meteor showers, how they form and their history, here.

12 Must-See Skywatching Events in 2012
Some might wonder what is looming sky-wise for 2012? What celestial events might we look forward to seeing? Here's a look at some of the most-promising events of the year.

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News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.