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Attention stargazers! Peak of the Leonid meteor shower is this weekend

To catch the meteors, NASA suggests heading outside around midnight (in any time zone) and choose a spot far from light pollution.
A  meteor over Joshua Tree National Park in 2015.
Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 17, 2023

Hold off on that early bedtime!

Tonight's the night for the spectacular Leonid meteor shower to light up the sky.

While peak viewing starts Nov. 17 into the wee hours of Nov. 18, the show will continue until Dec. 2.

From 12:33 a.m. ET on Saturday, stargazers could witness a dazzling display of 10 to 15 meteors, or shooting stars, per hour under clear conditions.

According to EarthSky, the moon is not expected to be a quarter full until Nov. 20, so there won't be much moonlight to interfere since it's only 23% full.

No need to worry if you're not in the Eastern Time zone — Leonids are visible anywhere in the world in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. To catch the meteors, NASA suggests heading outside around midnight (in any time zone), and for the best view, choose a spot far from streetlights or other sources of light pollution, as with any meteor shower.

The Midwest, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountains are expected to have clear skies, but the West and East coasts may experience reduced visibility due to rain and clouds, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteor showers happen when Earth passes through debris trails left by comets and broken asteroids; these bits collide with our atmosphere, creating fiery streaks in the sky, NASA says.