Anyone with a keen interest in sky gazing will want to mark their calendars for this week, as a stunning meteor shower is set to hit its peak.

The Leonid meteor shower, which creates fast and bright meteors that shoot across the night sky, will be at its most active over the coming days.

This year, the Leonids were active throughout the whole month of November, but the best of the celestial display is yet to come.

According to experts from Royal Museums Greenwich, the Leonid meteor shower will hit its peak on November 17-18, between midnight and dawn.

So if you've wanted to spot the stunning shooting stars light up the night sky, this week could be your chance.

Here's everything you need to know about the celestial event, and how you can spot them.

What is the Leonid meteor shower?

The Leonid meteor shower is thought to be linked to the Comet Temple-Tuttle. It gets its name from the constellation Leo the Lion, as the head point of this is where the meteors shoot out from.

The comet travels around the sun, leaving debris in its path - some of which is as tiny as a grain of sand. This then enters the earth's atmosphere at high speeds of up to 70km per second, resulting in bright lights that we know as meteors.

How to spot the Leonid meteor shower in Scotland

If you want to catch a glimpse of the celestial display, it's likely you'll need to be patient. Those planning on heading outside at night to wait for the meteors should bring a chair and dress accordingly for the chilly weather.

You won't need to invest in a telescope or binoculars to catch a glimpse, but it may take some time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, so make sure to factor in some time for this.

If you happen to miss the peak, the meteor shower does tend to continue for a few days on either side of the peak date - so you should have plenty of chances to see it.

And for the best conditions, you'll want to head somewhere with minimal light pollution - and preferably in a large open space so you can see a wide portion of the sky.

In 2023, the Moon will be a waxing crescent during the Leonid shower's maximum, making for a better chance at spotting the display.

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