Frequency: The swift and bright Lyrid meteors disintegrate after hitting our atmosphere at a moderate speed of 29.8 miles per second. They often produce luminous trains of dust that can be observed for several seconds.
The Lyrid meteor shower is not one of the strongest of the annual meteor showers, but it can be enjoyable to those meteor observers thirsting for something after over three and a half months of weak meteor activity.
The Lyrids generally begin on April 16 and end on April 26, with maximum generally occurring during the night of April 21/22. At maximum, hourly rates can reach about 10 meteors per hour. The Lyrids are particularly interesting for two reason. First, observations have been identified back to at least 2600 years, which is longer than any other meteor shower. Second, the meteor shower occasionally experiences an outburst of about 100 meteors per hour and the reason is basically unknown.
Lyrids are best viewed from the northern hemisphere, but they are visible from many sites north and south of the equator, and the shower is suitable for all forms of observation. As its radiant rises during the night, watches can be usefully carried out from about 22h30m local time onwards from mid-northern sites, but only from well after midnight from the mid-southern hemisphere. The waning crescent Moon will rise too late in the night in the northern hemisphere to cause any problems, and will be just a minor distraction further south on April 22. If the ideal maximum time recurs, it should be best seen from sites across the central to eastern Pacific Ocean, and the extreme west of North America, but other maximum times are perfectly possible, as noted above.