Sky gazers may get a glimpse of shooting stars during the Lyrids meteor shower on Thursday night. “They can see javelin-shaped shooting stars whizzing past in the skies at an amazing rate as the Lyrids meteor shower peaks on the night of April 21 and 22,” Science Popularization Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) scientific officer Mila Mitra told PTI.

Modest shower

The Lyrids are a modest shower, with a dozen or two meteors per hour at best, she said. These meteors could produce bright dust trails lasting for several seconds.

However, as the waning Moon is in the way, only the brightest meteors will shine through.

The Lyrids meteor shower, which began around April 16, would continue through April 26. The best area for watching would be a place where light pollution is at its minimum, and the best time would be an hour or two before dawn.

Meteors, also called shooting stars, are startling streaks of light that suddenly appear in the sky when a dust particle from outer space evaporates high in the Earth's atmosphere.

The debris that forms the Lyrids shower is dust from the comet C/1861 G1, known as Thatcher. The radiant is in the constellation Lyra.

Every year in April, the Earth ploughs through Thatcher's drawn-out dusty tail.