Grab your blankets and step outside for a spectacular sight this weekend!
According to Space.com, the famous Leonid meteor shower reaches its peak overnight on Sunday November 17th. Historically, the best time to watch was 3 a.m. EST or 12 a.m. PST.
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.
While other meteoroid streams usually contain bits of dust and ice, the Leonid stream also contains 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.
Make sure to keep an eye out!