The Leonids meteor shower is set to peak overnight, although weather conditions for this extra-special display are not ideal for a night under the stars.
Looking at the shower as it flies tonight, you may think it is another lumbering, slow display with an average of just 15 meteors an hour. Despite this, the Leonids have a unique quality.
The shower has a cyclonic peak, which means that every 33 years there is a hyperactive scene of shooting stars overhead. This can reach as many as 300 meteors per hour. This peak last arrived in 2001, meaning there is still a little over a decade until the next.
Visibility as the shower peaks is very poor.
Active from November 6 to November 30, it is tonight that activity peaks. Although looking at the WeatherRadar visibility will be very limited for the peak itself.
With the moon currently in its Waxing Crescent phase, there will be a chance to spot a shooting star over the coming days too. Though as the month ends, and a full moon rises, the light of our lunar companion will mask all but the brightest meteors.
This is the second shower of November, after the Taurids peaked around November 4. As the year comes to a close, there are just two more showers to look forward to, including the always highly active Geminids which peak over the night of December 21.
Although we are already over halfway through the month, there is still one other astronomical delight to look forward to.
Check out the full November astronomy outlook to learn more!