The Leonid meteor shower is peaking tonight and could offer skygazers around the world the chance to see up to 15 fireballs an hour.
The Leonids consist of pieces left by Comet Temple-Tuttle. This debris is rich in iron and magnesium, so the Leonids often streak the sky with bright green tails.
The viewing conditions should be “quite favorable” as the moon will be in its first quarter, so it is unlikely to outshine the meteors with its glare, the Royal Museums Greenwich said on its website.
You may see fewer shooting star than normal. While NASA states the Leonids usually offer up to 15 fireballs per hour, the Royal Museums Greenwich is slightly less optimistic, as it expects only up to 10 fireballs an hour.
Be sure to find a place that is dark and away from the city lights if you want the best chances of catching the spectacular show. Plan to arrive between midnight and dawn, when the shower peaks and the fireballs are the most visible.
Lay on your back looking straight up at the sky. Give your eyes at least 30 minutes to get used to the dark before giving up — many of us will use phones or other screens to get where we need to go, and our brains will need time to get used to looking for fainter streaks in the dark skies.
Be sure to wrap up. As with any trip in late winter, the temperatures will drop and you may have to stand still for some time to see the spectacle.
If this meteor shower is not for you, the Geminids will grace us in mid-December.