STARGAZERS are expecting to see one of the most spectacular shows of the year tonight as the Lyrids light up the sky.

The Lyrid meteor shower, which occurs between April 16 and 25 each year, is expected to be at its peak tonight across the UK. 

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What are the Lyrids?

Meteor showers, or shooting stars, are caused when pieces of debris, known as meteorites, enter Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of around 43 miles per second, burning up and causing streaks of light.

The Lyrids takes its name from the constellation of Lyra the Harp, where the shooting stars appear to originate from.

The meteors are pieces of debris falling from the comet called C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which is expected to return to the inner solar system in 2276, after a 415-year orbital period.

How best can I see the meteor shower?

The Argus:

An image of the Lyrids in 2019 (PA)

Viewers are advised to find an open space where there are no trees or high buildings.

Then just lie on the ground, look across the sky, and wait - stargazers across the internet say that looking east of the horizon will help you spot the most shooting stars.

What can I expect to see?

Some 15 to 20 meteors will be produced per hour, but only about 10 of those will be visible to the eye, due to a restricted view of the sky and light pollution in large cities.

Because the Moon is in its crescent phase, it shouldn’t drown out the shower too much.

How long will it last?

This year’s meteor shower began on Friday April 16, and will end around Sunday April 25.