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Lyrid Meteor Shower Hits Its Peak in the Sky and Online

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Monday night, and even if Mother Nature spoils your "shooting stars" display with bad weather, you can watch the celestial light show live online via two webcasts.

The annual Lyrid meteor shower occurs every year when Earth passes through debris left behind by Comet Thatcher, which makes a full orbit of the sun once every 415 years.

Lyrid meteors appear to emanate from the star Vega in the constellation Lyra, the Harp. The meteors typically show up between April 16 and 25.

At its peak this year — which is expected to happen in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday — the Lyrid shower should produce about 20 meteors per hour. You can watch the Lyrid meteor shower webcasts on Space.com via the online Slooh community telescope and NASA.

The Slooh webcast begins at 8 p.m. ET. You can also watch the show directly on www.slooh.com.

NASA's webcast will begin at 8:30 p.m. EDT (0030 April 22 GMT) and last through the night. The space agency has set up a Web page for watching the live video stream.

Both webcasts depend on clear skies for good views of the meteor shower. [Gallery: Amazing Lyrid Meteor Shower Photos from 2013]

"Best viewing will be midnight until dawn on the morning of April 22, provided you have clear, dark skies away from city lights," NASA officials said.

The waning gibbous moon threatens to wash out most of the show this year, meteor shower expert Bill Cooke of NASA told Space.com. "I would not set high expectations," Cooke said.

— Miriam Kramer, Space.com

If you snap a great photo Lyrid meteor shower that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, send photos, comments and your name and location to managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

This is a condensed version of a report from Space.com. Read the full report. Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer and Google+. Follow Space.com on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.