It’s shooting star season, people! And that means we finally have a reason to get off of the couch (while observing social distancing, of course).
Yup, kicking things off is the first meteor shower of spring, the Lyrid meteor shower, which has occurred annually for the last 2,700 years.
As many as ten to 20 shooting stars (per hour) will be lighting up the sky for all of us at home to witness from now until Wednesday (with the peak being Tuesday night into Wednesday morning).
According to NASA, the shower occurs this time each year when Earth's orbit crosses paths with that of Comet Thatcher. The comet loses pieces of itself into our upper atmosphere at 110,000 miles per hour. Woah.
This year, the annual event coincides with the new moon, which means that barely any lunar light will block viewers from the celestial light show like it did last year.
Watching the shower is pretty easy, provided you can get yourself somewhere really, really dark. We recommend finding an area of the sky that is open and away from artificial lights. So, if you’re currently located in a more urban area, perhaps take a short drive out to somewhere more rural. Late evening and early morning hours (between midnight and 4 a.m local time) may be the best time to see shooting stars, according to the American Meteor Society. That’s right, no fancy equipment necessary.