Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 18:51 UK

Skywatchers set for meteor show

Infographic (BBC)

Stargazers are preparing for a sky show as the annual Lyrids meteor shower gets underway on Wednesday.

The shower is named after the constellation Lyra, from which the meteors appear to originate.

The meteor shower peaks early on Thursday 22 April (GMT), when 10-20 meteors per hour are expected to be visible under favourable conditions.

Scientists say the best time to observe the meteor shower is during the dark hours before dawn.

The Lyrids are caused when Earth passes through the dusty tail of Comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1).

Viewing conditions will be more favourable to those observing in the northern hemisphere.

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