If the weather cooperates, Washingtonians could get a glimpse of the annual Lyrid meteor shower Friday night.
Early risers, or those coming home very, very late, will be rewarded with a celestial show.
This illustration simulates the view to the east-northeast as seen from the heart of the British Isles at 12am local time on Saturday 22 April.
After a disappointing year for meteor showers in 2016 due to moonlight interference, the Lyrids are one of several showers which won't be affected by moonlight this year.
Cometary particles strewn along the orbit of long-period Comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher) are the genesis of the Lyrid meteors. It's made up of the three bright stars Deneb in Cygnus (the Swan), Altair in Aquila (the Eagle), and Vega in Lyra (the Lyre, or harp). Active from 16-25 April, the peak of the shower is expected around 12h UT on 22 April, which would favour North American observers.
Weather aside, viewing conditions are favorable this year because the waning crescent moon won't wash out the sky with light.