If your social media feeds are crowded with Baby Yoda memes and friendly Wookiees, check the date: It’s May 4, aka Star Wars Day, the long-running fan-driven celebration of the George Lucas franchise that some might argue is a pun taken too far: “May the fourth be with you.” Get it?
The Cincinnati Zoo shared an otter posing as a Jedi knight to mark the occasion, and Disney is using the day to promote a new animated series about genetically mutated clone warriors, “Star Wars: The Bad Batch,” and Simpsons-Star Wars crossover content.
Closer to home, a forecast for clear skies means early risers craving a little extra dose of the cosmos may want to look for the Eta Aquariid meteor shower in the southeast sky an hour before dawn Wednesday morning.
The shower, which is most visible in the southern hemisphere, occurs when Earth crosses the orbital path of Halley’s comet and all the little bits and pieces of the debris burn up, according to astronomy website EarthSky.
“The comet dust smashes into Earth’s upper atmosphere at nearly 150,000 miles per hour,” reports EarthSky’s Bruce McClure. “Roughly half of these swift-moving meteors leave persistent trains — ionized gas trails that glow for a few seconds after the meteor has passed.”
Earth also crosses the orbital path of Halley’s comet near the other end of the year, giving rise to the Orionid meteor shower, usually viewed best in the predawn hours on or near Oct. 21.
As with all meteor showers, give yourself a little time to relax and let your eyes adjust for maximum viewing. If it’s cloudy or you sleep through the chance to see the shower early Wednesday, you can try Thursday as well.
And if you need a more night-owl-friendly way to mark today’s occasion, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” screens outdoors tonight at Marymoor Park (6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond). Tickets are $30 per carload of Lucas acolytes. More information is available at epiceap.com/movies-at-marymoor/.