Fireworks night might be over, but our skies are about to get a whole lot brighter thanks to the annual Leonid meteor shower happening this weekend.
Yep, from midnight to the early hours of Saturday, our night skies are set to ignite with an impressive display of burning space detritus. How exciting!
The Leonids are known as one of the fastest, brightest meteor showers that take place each year and are associated with the path of the Comet Tempel-Tuttel.
As the Comet Tempel-Tuttel hurtles past on its path around the sun, it leaves behind debris that enters the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 70 kilometres per second. The speed causes the detritus to vaporise, leaving tails of light burning brightly behind it.
The meteors provide the Leo constellation with an impressive mane, glowing and burning bright against the backdrop of the thick night air.
According to reports by HuffPost in 2017, the Leonid meteor shower can produce up to 20 shooting stars every hour, so the likelihood of getting to wish upon a star is HIGH this Saturday.
Especially as you won’t need any special goggles, telescopes or equipment of any kind to watch the display as, weather permitting, these will all be visible to the naked eye. Just make sure you’re somewhere dark, where there is little light pollution and in a wide open space.
According to the Met Office, the best place to watch the meteor shower is in the central, southern and eastern parts of the UK.
Their in-house operational meteorologist Dan Stroud was optimistic about the conditions, saying that because of a waxing moon, there should be dark skies.
Although, enthusiasts should watch out for bands of wind and heavy rain moving across the country.
“It will be hit and miss, but there’s a chance of clear spells, especially the further east you are,” he said.
All that’s left to bring is some sensible warm clothing and a flask of hot-choc to keep you toasty and warm beneath the spectacle.