Set your alarms, because this is something for which it is worth waking up early. The Leonid Meteor Shower is making its annual return appearance this weekend. The shower has actually already started, but the best time to see it is tomorrow morning in the hours before dawn. With an average of 15 to 20 meteors per hour,the Leonids are always an impressive site. We'd say they're worth standing outside in the chilly morn with your pajamas on.
The span of time from tonight until predawn tomorrow marks the peak of the Leonid meteor shower
, which occurs every year in mid-November due to the activity of the comet Tempel-Tuttle.
According to Space.com
, the best time to watch the meteors is "in the last two or three hours before sunrise, when the moon has set": "'From the time of moonset until around 5:15 a.m. when the first streaks of dawn begin to appear in the east the sky will be dark and moonless," advises Joe Rao, Space.com skywatching columnist. "That interval will provide you with your best opportunity to see any Leonid meteors.'" You can use this TimeAndDate calculator
to determine when moonset occurs where you live; it'll most likely fall around 3am.
A few other useful meteor-watching resources: