The meteors that splash into the Earth's atmosphere and light up the night sky every spring are the debris trail left behind by Comet Thatcher -- a long-period comet estimated to orbit the Earth once every 415 years.
The Lyrids are so named because the shower's shooting stars are seen within the vicinity of the constellation Lyra. Much of the action will occur near Lyra's brightest star, Alpha Lyrae. At the shower's peak, viewers with clear skies should be able to witness as many as 20 shooting stars per hour.
Those cursed by clouds can stream the meteor shower live via Slooh, a free online observatory.