THROUGH the coming week look out for more shooting stars zipping about up there than usual.

Shooting stars, or ‘meteors,’ are tiny bits of space rock, grains of dust really, which streak across the sky as they burn up in Earth's atmosphere. Most clear nights you see one or two just by chance, but at certain times lots more are visible, and this will be the case next week when the annual Lyrid Meteor Shower occurs.

To see the Lyrids you'll need to be out after midnight, looking east. No binoculars or telescope needed, just go out and wait to see shooting stars. The Lyrids isn't one of the best showers, so you won't see dozens and dozens, but you will - if you wait long enough - see more than usual, especially if you go out on the night of the peak, Tuesday, April 22, and can observe from somewhere dark, well away from the streetlights and security lights of modern life which ruin our view of the night sky.

Stuart Atkinson, secretary of Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal