LYRID METEOR SHOWER: The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Friday, April 22nd, when Earth passes through a stream of dusty debris trailing Comet Thatcher. This is not an intense shower. Nevertheless, if you wake up an hour or so before dawn on Friday, and watch the sky, you might see a sprinkling of meteors emerge from the vicinity of the bright star Vega. Expect one every 5 to 10 minutes or so. (Note: This is a northern hemisphere shower; southern observers can stay in bed.)
THE MOON & JUPITER: Here’s something you can definitely see: The full Moon and Jupiter will be pleasingly close together all night long on April 21st-22nd. Look for them rising in the east at sunset on Thursday. Jupiter is at its closest to Earth this month, so it’s absolutely brilliant; only the Moon itself is brighter. Together they’re eye-catching and beautiful. (If you’re outdoors on Friday morning looking for Lyrids, you’ll also see Jupiter and the Moon hovering near the western horizon–a nice bonus.)
AURORA WATCH: Earth is about to run into a high-speed solar wind stream, and that could spark a geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers in Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia should be alert for auroras on April 22nd or 23rd.