Celebrating Cinco de Mayo tonight? Keep the tequila flowing, because you've got a reason to stay up late -- you just might spot some shooting stars!
The 2014 Eta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to peak overnight from May 5 to 6. It is one of two showers that occur every year as Earth passes through debris left behind by Halley's Comet. The other such shower, called Orionids, occurs in mid-October.
"What makes this shower somewhat special is that the meteors stem from the most famous comet in all of history, Comet Halley," Bob Berman, a popular American astronomer affiliated with the SLOOH Observatory, said in a written statement. "As Halley goes around the Sun in its 76-year orbit, pieces of it, little chunks of ice, slough off the comet and we intersect that every year around this time, in early May. And we happen to hit this material just about head on producing one of the fastest displays of meteors of the year."
The prime time for viewing begins at midnight and lasts until dawn (your local time), with peak rates from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., according to NASA.
Skywatchers in the southern hemisphere will be treated to the best view, with astronomers predicting up to 60 meteors per hour. Skywatchers in the northern hemisphere can expect around 30 meteors per hour.
While cloudy weather may obstruct the view in the northern U.S., SLOOH is scheduled to broadcast live coverage of the meteor shower from North America starting at 9 p.m. EDT. Just check it out in the video above.