This article was written by Brian Resnick for Vox.com. Continue reading via Vox.com, here.
When Earth passes through the trail of debris left behind by a comet, bits of that debris catch fire in our atmosphere and streak across the sky in a blazing 3,000-degree flash. Friday and Saturday night, you can watch this in action by catching the annual Leonid meteor shower, which will run through the weekend.
The new moon on Saturday means the skies will be at their darkest. So it will be the better night to see a dozen or so meteors an hour.
They’re called Leonids because they appear to emanate out of the constellation Leo (the lion), which you can find rising in the eastern sky Friday and Saturday night. The meteors might be best seen in the very late overnight hours until dawn, as they rise higher and higher in the sky.
The meteors should be visible the world over. But where exactly to look will depend on where you are in the world. Here’s the view from Washington, DC, at 1:25 am Saturday. They’ll be close to the horizon in the east. (Use a location-based sky map app like Sky Guideto figure ...