(CNN) — Look for spectacular shooting stars this week as the annual Lyrid meteor shower light up the nighttime sky.
Although the meteor shower started Thursday and goes through Saturday, the best times to view the shooting stars will be Wednesday into Thursday before dawn.
It's an especially good year to spot the Lyrids.
The Lyrids, which are pieces of debris from a comet, have been observed for more than 2,600 years, according to NASA. Each year around this time, the Earth runs into the comet's debris stream, which causes the shower.
"Peak rates should occur after 10:30 pm on April 22 your local time, for observers in the northern hemisphere. For observers in the southern hemisphere, Lyrid rates are not significant until after midnight your local time."
Stargazers in Europe may have the best views, but many people around the world should be able to spot the Lyrids. And there's no need to buy special equipment to spot the showers. Find a patch of a dark, open sky away from artificial lights, "lie down comfortably on a blanket or lawn chair, and look straight up," wrote Cooke.
The name of a shower is based on the point from which it originates, called the radiant. The constellation where the radiant is located gives the shower its name. In this case, home base is probably the constellation Lyra.
went to Joshua Tree National Park last December to catch the Geminid meteor shower. He set up his tripod to take 20-second exposures from about 11 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday. He took about 500 photos and combined them with StarStaX, an image stacking and blending software for star trail photography.
Courtesy Jason Hullinger