Shakespeare in the Park won’t be the only free show happening in Central Park tonight.
The annual Perseid meteor shower, which promises to be extra spectacular this year, will be illuminating the night sky this evening. The Great Lawn in Central Park will be one of the best spots in the city to catch the stellar action from 10pm until the park closes at 1am.
Normally, between 80 and 100 meteors light up the Earth’s atmosphere during the shower, but this year NASA expects between 160 and 200 an hour. That’s because of the gravitational pull of Jupiter, which Earth is, like... packed-L-train close to right now.
According to the Times, Jupiter’s gravity has pulled together meteor streams originating from Comet Swift-Tuttle’s path in 1862, 1479 and 1079. That is some crazy old debris, y'all.
The best time to watch the shower will be before dawn tomorrow. Even if you can’t make it to a park or another wide-open space like the beach, you should still be able to see some of the night's meteors by heading up to a rooftop.
Not an early riser or don't have roof access? You could always just watch this NASA livestream of the event instead.