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The 2020 Lyrid meteor shower thrills skywatchers. Here are the best photos.

Space logo Space 23/04/2020 Hanneke Weitering
a star in the rain: Photographer Timothy Wenzel created this composite of six Lyrid meteor photos he captured from Midland, Michigan, in the early morning hours of April 22, 2020. (Image credit: Courtesy of Timothy Wenzel) © Provided by Space Photographer Timothy Wenzel created this composite of six Lyrid meteor photos he captured from Midland, Michigan, in the early morning hours of April 22, 2020. (Image credit: Courtesy of Timothy Wenzel)

The annual Lyrid meteor shower put on an exceptional show for skywatchers this year, with the new moon setting the stage for gorgeous "shooting stars" to prance across the dark night sky. 

During the Lyrid meteor shower, which peaked overnight on April 21-22, viewers in the Northern Hemisphere were treated to as many as 20 visible meteors per hour in places with clear, dark skies devoid of light pollution, which can drown out some fainter meteors. And, without any bright moonlight to outshine these so-called "shooting stars," viewing conditions for this year's Lyrids were the best in years.  

Astrophotographers across the U.S. captured some incredible views of bright Lyrid meteors lighting up the night sky. Here are some of the most amazing views captured by Space.com readers. 

Related: The best Lyrid meteor shower photos of all time

a black and blue sky in the background: A Lyrid meteor crosses the Milky Way galaxy in this photo taken by Tina Pappas Lee on Fripp Island, South Carolina. The photo was taken at approximately 4:45 a.m. local time on April 22, 2020. (Image credit: Courtesy of Tina Pappas Lee) © Provided by Space A Lyrid meteor crosses the Milky Way galaxy in this photo taken by Tina Pappas Lee on Fripp Island, South Carolina. The photo was taken at approximately 4:45 a.m. local time on April 22, 2020. (Image credit: Courtesy of Tina Pappas Lee)

While photographing the Lyrid meteor shower from Fripp Island, South Carolina, early Wednesday morning (April 22), astrophotographer Tina Pappas Lee captured this view of a meteor that appears to be heading toward the planets Jupiter and Saturn as it passes through the constellation of Aquila, the eagle

The brightest object in the frame is Jupiter, and Saturn can be seen directly to its left. Also visible a bit farther to the left is the planet Mars. This planetary trio made a rare close approach last week and are now slowly moving farther apart each night. 

a sky view looking up at night: Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes captured this view of an early Lyrid meteor over Maryland on April 12, 2020. The 45-minute exposure features swirling star trails that circle around the North Star, which is barely out of the frame in the top left. (Image credit: Courtesy of Jeff Berkes ) © Provided by Space Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes captured this view of an early Lyrid meteor over Maryland on April 12, 2020. The 45-minute exposure features swirling star trails that circle around the North Star, which is barely out of the frame in the top left. (Image credit: Courtesy of Jeff Berkes )

Although the Lyrids peaked this week, the meteor shower has been active since mid-April, and a few Lyrid meteors will continue to grace the skies until the end of the month.  Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes captured this photo of an early Lyrid meteor with star trails on April 12 from his backyard in Maryland. 

"I have been outside every clear night, and it is amazing how much clearer the night sky is recently, and how I don't see a single plane in the sky during a 2 hour star trail," Berkes told Space.com in an email. "These are great times to get out, urban or suburban and enjoy the clear skies we are having."

Related: Here's what to see in the night sky while you're stuck at home

a person flying through the sky: A Lyrid meteor streaks across the sky near Prescott, Arizona, in this photo taken by Jason Robbins on April 22, 2020, at approximately 4:30 a.m. local time. A few faint airplanes streak through the background in the distance. (Image credit: Courtesy of Jason Robbins) © Provided by Space A Lyrid meteor streaks across the sky near Prescott, Arizona, in this photo taken by Jason Robbins on April 22, 2020, at approximately 4:30 a.m. local time. A few faint airplanes streak through the background in the distance. (Image credit: Courtesy of Jason Robbins)

First-time meteor photographer Jason Robbins, who has spent years pointing cameras at birds by day, decided to try something new and photograph the night sky in hopes of capturing a "shooting star" during the peak of this year's Lyrid meteor shower.

Robbins captured this sparkling view of a Lyrid meteor on Wednesday (April 22) at approximately 4:30 a.m. local time, from about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Prescott, Arizona. If you look closely, you'll see the meteor's pink-and-green tail. 

The color of a meteor's trail depends on its chemical composition. Lyrid meteors, which are "crumbs" of material from Comet Thatcher, often appear pink and green, whereas other showers like the December Geminids produce turquoise-colored trails.

a person in a blue sky: Photographer Andrew March took this selfie during the Lyrid meteor shower on April 19, 2020, in Rockport, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Courtesy of Andrew March) © Provided by Space Photographer Andrew March took this selfie during the Lyrid meteor shower on April 19, 2020, in Rockport, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Courtesy of Andrew March)

A few days before the peak, astrophotographer Andrew March of Rockport, Massachusetts captured several Lyrid meteors in the early morning sky. March took this "selfie" with a meteor crossing the Milky Way. Jupiter and Saturn are visible directly above his head, and Mars is shining off to the left. 

After photographing the Lyrids on Sunday (April 19), March went out for another photoshoot during the peak on Wednesday morning (April 22). You can see several of his photos in the slideshow below. 

Editor's note: 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 observing location to spacephotos@space.com.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

 
a stack of flyers on a table © Provided by Live Science

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