For all you stargazing enthusiasts, now is the time to plan ahead.
Earlier this week, the Lyrid meteor shower made its 2013 debut in the skies above Ankeny. However, skies weren't very friendly and it's likely you didn't see anything at all.
Or you can wait for one of the many upcoming meteor showers this year. Here's a look at the 2013 meteor shower schedule:
ETA Aquarids Meteor Shower – Peak Date: May 6
The Eta Aquarids (ETA) are the third major meteor shower of the year. Like many other meteor showers, the Eta Aquarids are caused by the Earth passing through the dust particles of a comet. The Aquarids are known for their bright and fast meteors.
Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower - Peak Date: July 29
The 2013 Delta Aquarids meteor shower peak on the night of July 29, during which you can expect to see 15-25 bright, yellow, shooting stars per hour against a dark and clear sky. Each meteor will be travelling at a temperate speed of 25.5 miles/41 kilometers per second.
Check out this video of the Delta Aquarids from 2012.
Perseids Meteor Shower - Peak Date: Aug. 12
Spacedex.com says the Perseids is one of the finest meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60-100 bright, fast, and colorful meteors per hour during their peak. This annual meteor shower is active from July 23 through August 22, and usually peaks on August 11 and 12.
Orionids Meteor Shower - Peak Date: Oct. 21
Orionids is one of the top meteor showers to observe during the fourth quarter of the year, producing up to 20 green and yellow meteors per hour during its peak. Orionids meteors are also known to be speedy, with meteors soaring through the night sky at approximately 147,638 miles per hour. Ninja reflexes are required to capture the magic on camera. The 2013 Orionids Meteor Shower peak is on Oct. 21.
See video of the Orionids Meteor shower, or check out photos of the Orionids to see what you can expect.
Leonid Meteor Shower - Peak Date: Nov. 16
Unfortunately, the full moon makes 2013 an unfavorable year for watching the 2013 Leonid meteor shower. Radiating from the constellation Leo the Lion, the famous Leonid meteor shower has produced some of the greatest meteor storms in history, with rates as high as thousands of meteors per minute during a span of 15 minutes on the morning of November 17, 1966.
Geminids Meteor Shower - Peak Date: Dec. 12/13
NASA reports that the Geminids are a relatively young meteor shower, with the first sightings occurring in the 1830s with rates of about 20 per hour. Over the decades the rates have increased, regularly spawning between 80 and 120 per hour at its peak on a clear evening.
The best places to view meteor showers are usually away from the lights of heavily populated urban areas. Your best bet is to find a spot in the country, away from the glare with plenty of wide open skies.
Do you have a favorite spot in Ankeny to watch meteor showers? If so, tell us where in the comments?