Look up this weekend in France for peak of shooting star display

Annual Lyrids meteor shower will be at full force Sunday night

The meteor shower has lit up April skies for more than 2,000 years

Budding stargazers in France will be able to see the peak of April’s shooting star season this weekend, with around 20 per hour visible to the naked eye. 

The Lyrids (Lyrides) is an annual meteor shower that occurs each April, first recorded in 687BC. 

It lasts for around two weeks, but this year will be at its brightest this weekend, filling the skies overnight between Sunday and Monday (April 21 and 22). The best time to view the shower will be just after midnight.

Although the display will be at its strongest on Sunday night, it is possible to see it in the skies before - the displays began last weekend and will continue falling until the end of the month.

Read more: French digital telescopes give stargazers Nasa-quality view of space

How can I see the meteor shower? 

The most important thing to do is find a place with as little light pollution as possible, where the night sky is clearly visible. 

You do not need to bring any equipment as the meteor shower will be visible to the naked eye but binoculars or a telescope may help.

In general, the stars will fall from the north-west, close to the Lyra constellation. The shower will appear close to the Vega star, one of the brightest in the sky, which can be a good reference point. 

However, the meteor shower will not see stars ‘falling’ vertically downwards, but coming from all across the sky. This means just looking up over the course of the evening you will be bound to see some of the display.

Note that the peak of the shower this year is falling close to a full moon (on April 25), meaning even in areas of no light pollution, the strength of the moon will make the stars appear less bright.

Read more: PHOTOS: See the Pyrenees… from Marseille

Send us your photos

If you see the meteor shower over the weekend – or at any point before the end of the month – and take photos of the display, share them with us via news@connexionfrance.com