Stargazers are in for a treat tonight when the Leonid meteor shower peaks. 

The Leonids are some of the fastest-moving and brightest meteors and – if the skies are clear – those looking skywards could see up to 15 shooting stars per hour.

Here’s everything you need to know about it

What are the Leonids?

The Leonids come from leftover particles from Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle.

These fireballs appear to radiate from the constellation of Leo.

Displays are better when the comet – which takes 33 years to orbit the sun – is closer to the Earth.

This last occurred in 2009, with a staggering 500 shooting stars recorded every hour..

The next occurrence like that is predicted next due in about 13 years’ time.

What time is the meteor shower tonight?

Most meteor showers are best seen after midnight and before dawn when the skies are at their darkest.

What does Nasa say?

NASA advised: “The Leonids are best viewed starting at about midnight local time. Find an area well away from city or street lights.

“Come prepared for winter temperatures with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.

“Orient yourself with your feet towards east, lie flat on your back, and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.

“In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors.

"Be patient - the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.”

How to see the Leonids

This particular celestial event is called the Leonids because the shooting stars appear to "radiate" from the Leo constellation.

You’ll want to be looking towards Leo for the best chance at spotting the meteors, although they can appear at any point in the night sky.

Meteor spotters should watch from a vantage point with as little light pollution as possible; those in rural areas will undoubtedly have a clearer view.

Weather also plays an important role, and a cloudy night can scupper your chances of spotting any meteors, so keep your eye on local weather forecasts.

When is the next meteor shower?

If you miss the Leonid Meteor Shower tonight, there are two more showers scheduled before the end of the year.

The Geminids will peak from 13-14 December, while the Ursids will peak from 21-22 December.