The Gawker Guide to Watching Tonight's Leonid Meteor Shower

When they're not killing dinosaurs or being blown up by Bruce Willis meteors sure are nice-looking. Tonight, the annual Leonid meteor shower reaches its peak, and dozens of meteors per hour should streak across the sky. Here's how to watch:


Do Not Live in a City

Sorry, LA, New York, Chicago, etc. For all your cultural happenings and tall buildings you are a shit place to watch rocks burn up brilliantly in the atmosphere. Happen to be in Bandlands National Park tonight? Get ready for awesome pieces of space blasted in your face. The New York Academy of Sciences is sponsoring a viewing at Manhattan's Inwood Park from 9pm-12am, but we're guessing there will be less meteor-viewing and more awkward cognitive scientists looking for a date. But, if you're into that sort of thing: Go!

The Gawker Guide to Watching Tonight's Leonid Meteor Shower

Get drunk
The best time to view the shower is from 1am to sunrise (look to the Northeast for the constellation Leo), so you've still got plenty of time to get plastered. It's chilly out there, and if you end up not seeing any meteors then you're basically just sitting on the ground in the dark. Might as well have a few shots of whiskey in you.

Do not say "oooooh" and clap every time you see a meteor.
Seriously, if NASA is correct there will be 30-40 meteors per hour at the shower's peak. So just chill out. This is a time to quietly reflect on our puniness in the vastness of space; not your uncle Chad's world famous Fourth of July Fireworks extravaganza. Don't be that guy at the meteor shower.

Preferably live in Asia
While us Westerners will be grasping after a mere 30-40 meteors per hour, according to NASA certain parts of Asia will be graced with more than 400. Bring back some pictures, Obama!


Bring a date

—So, how did you and Adrian meet?
—Well, one night he invited me to this meteor shower. As we were sitting in the dark watching chunks of space rock plummet spectacularly to Earth he turned to me and said that the only thing more beautiful than that was me. Then we made out for like five hours. What about you and Roger?
—Oh... um... eHarmony.com?

photos courtesy of aresauburn's and Kahunna's Flickr