Grab a blanket, you’re going to need it.
The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight, which means about 20 space rocks will be streaking across the sky every hour. The best part is, the celestial light show should be visible across all of Canada and will be easier to spot than normal this year for a number of reasons.
“This year the moon will be a waxing crescent only 1/15th the brightness of a full moon, and it will set early, allowing excellent dark sky conditions for this shower, Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. “This should be an exciting experience.”
Additionally, NASA reports that these spring-time meteors often leave behind luminous dust trains that can be seen for several seconds.
So, how can you make sure you see them?
As with all astronomical events, you’ll want to get somewhere dark as far away from city lights as possible. Once you have a spot, peak rates should occur for observers in Canada and the northern hemisphere after midnight local time and before dawn on April 23. You can also leave the fancy telescopes and equipment at home, as the show is best seen with your eyes alone. All you need is a blanket or chair, a jacket to stay warm, and then simply look up.
Because the meteor shower actually lasts from April 16-25, some people can already give you a taste of what you’ll see tonight (some of these images were also taken last year):
— EarthSky (@earthskyscience) April 19, 2015
— Ash de Vos (@ashdevos1) April 19, 2015
Last night! Dan in Marion captured this. The Lyrid meteor shower peaked a couple of nights ago. This was a straggler! pic.twitter.com/fswYcOpiJ5
— Kevin Gregory (@KevinGregoryRTV) April 25, 2014
Earth’s annual lyrid meteor shower lighting up the sky pic.twitter.com/IbSxo0UlUx
— Grant Clements (@ClementsGrant) April 24, 2014
Pretty cool, right? But if you don’t want to stay up late or venture into the cold tonight, you can also watch the meteor shower from the comfort of your own home. Slooh’s live feed of the event will begin at 5:00 p.m. PDT / 8:00 p.m. EDT:
The next annual meteor shower will be the Perseids in August, where viewers will be treated to 100 meteors per hour.
Happy star spotting!