The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the better known highlights of the meteor-watching calendar. It usually peaks around three weeks into April, and while it doesn’t produce many meteors (5-10 per hour, although some years have unexpectedly surged to more than 100 per hour), they’re reasonably bright and hard to miss, with the occasional fireballs that cast shadows for a few fractions of a second.
As the name suggests, Lyrids have their radiant in the northern constellation Lyra (the Harp), which features the bright star Vega. From where I sit in South Africa, the radiant only appears above the horizon at around 2am, so this shower takes some dedication to see! What I do is head outside to a nice dark spot, somewhere that the sky is black and there aren’t any lights shining into my eyes, and look roughly North-North-East (How do I find that direction? I look at the electronic compass on my cellphone, or a GPS!), and look for the bright star that’s not too far above the horizon. It’s easy to find, since there aren’t any other bright stars near it. Then I just get comfortable, and wait for the show!