Grab your blankets and step outside for a spectacular sight this weekend!
According to Space.com, the famous Leonid meteor shower reaches its peak on early Sunday morning, November 18th.
Stargazers will be treated to a steady stream of debris left behind by Comet Tempel-Tuttle as the Earth passes through the thickest part of the Leonid swarm at 7 p.m. EST (which is 4 p.m. PST, for us on the West coast).
However, Space recommends looking up in the after-midnight hours on November 18th, which for us means after 9 p.m. on Saturday night.
“From November 6-30, each year, Earth sweeps through a stream of debris left behind by Comet Tempel-Tuttle,” reads a description from the Weather Network.
“As we get deeper into the stream, the number of meteors seen in the sky increases, and reaches a peak on the night of the 17th. As all of these meteors can be traced back to a point of origin in the sky that’s inside the constellation Leo, this is called the Leonid meteor shower.”
While other meteoroid streams usually contain bits of dust and ice, the Leonid stream also has quite a few gravel-sized bits.
When the skies are clear and dark, you can expect to see about 10 to 15 meteors per hour and, on occasion, an “outstandingly bright meteor (called a ‘fireball’) or a meteor that silently explodes in a strobe-like flash along its path (called a ‘bolide’)”, according to Space.
The best way to view this phenomenon is to bundle up in cozy sweaters and blankets, lie back on a lawn chair, and keep your eyes peeled to the sky – but don’t just stare at one spot!
Once you spot your first couple of streaks, trace them backwards until you find where they emanate from – you’ll be able to spot a backwards question mark pattern of stars that marks the head of the Leo constellation.
And according to Environment Canada, Victoria can expect clear skies this weekend, making for perfect viewing conditions.
So make sure to keep an eye out!