For about four thousand years, every November, Earth passes through a dense stream of meteoric particles which leaves the tail of the comet temple-Tuttle.
"But don't expect to see a lot of meteors", he wrote. Weather permitting, observing conditions will be flawless: There's a new moon on Saturday, which means that the sky will be dark with no hindrance whatsoever from moonlight.
These aren't impressive numbers as meteor showers go, but the Leonids are among the fastest-moving clouds of space debris around, which makes them more likely to produce sizzling fireballs.
No such storm is forecast this year, though: Viewers should see an hourly rate of some 10 to 20 meteors.
One of the year's major meteor showers will peak this weekend, and viewing conditions figure to be pretty good, clouds permitting.
The best time to watch the Leonids is between midnight and dawn.
Although this year's show won't be almost that dramatic, the rate of shooting stars will still be several times higher than a typical night - and exceptionally bright and fast. You don't need a telescope or binoculars to see them. Clear skies, your eyes (with glasses or contacts, if needed), and a bit of patience are all you need.
"Since the meteors can appear to zip across large tracts of the overhead sky, it's best to lie down on a reclining lawn chair back-to-back with an observing buddy so that you can cover the entire sky as a team", NationalGeorgraphic.com recommended in a story about the shower. "Meteor watching is like watching a graceful, natural fireworks display, and you never know when or how bright the next "shot" will be".
The Leonids are named after the constellation of Leo, where the meteors originate from.