Halley's comet won't return to the skies until the 2060s. But tonight, you can catch a glimpse of it in the Eta Aquarid meteor shower.
Earth is currently passing through a patch of debris created in the wake of the comet's tail. When that debris hits our atmosphere, it will burn up and scar the night sky as meteors in the predawn hours between May 5 and 6 (though you may be able to see a few meteors a night until May 28) .
Tonight might be an especially good viewing: There won't be moonlight interfering with the show.
These meteors are named "Eta Aquarid" because they appear to emanate out of the constellation Aquarius, which takes the shape of a dude pouring out a jug of water for eternity. (More specifically: The meteors fly out from a star near the top of the constellation named Eta Aquarii.) We come across this patch of debris again in October, when the skies light up with the Orionid meteor shower.
NASA notes it will be easier to spot the meteor shower in the Southern Hemisphere due to the fact that Aquarius is higher in the sky for that half of the globe. In the Northern Hemisphere, Aquarius is closer to the horizon.
Those of us in the north may be able to see about 10 meteors an hour grazing by near the horizon in the hours before dawn. (Space.com reports it may be difficult to see any meteors north of New York City.) If you're in Australia, you may be able to catch as many as 60 per hour.
But there's a perk for those of us in the north: We may be able to witness a phenomenon called "earth grazing," where a meteor appears to streak horizontally just across the edge of the horizon.
If you can't get outside to see the Eta Aquarids in the predawn hours, you can watch the show on this live stream below. Its starts at 8 pm Eastern, and will be broadcasting from the Canary Islands, where low levels of light pollution combined with a moonless sky should make for great viewing.
According to NASA, the Eta Aquarids are particularly fast meteors, which "can leave glowing 'trains' (incandescent bits of debris in the wake of the meteor) which last for several seconds to minutes." Photos from this shower are spectacular. See below.