Orionid Star Trail Composite

All things considered, November isn’t a great month — we all know it’s just the hangover from the spooky season. That said, this month has some awesome celestial events — if stargazers are smart and know when to look, they can catch two different meteor showers.

The Taurids will start November strong, peaking in the Northern Hemisphere on November 10 and 11. These slow-moving meteors are likely debris left behind by the Comet Encke as it orbits the sun. The best time to catch the Taurids is around midnight local time, and while you don’t need a telescope to see them, you’ll have to exercise some patience — the Taurids only produce a few meteors per hour.

Up next is undoubtedly the best shower this month, the Leonids, which peaks on November 17. These meteors seem to originate from the constellation Leo, hence their name, though viewers can spot them anywhere in the night sky. Those interested could get to see 10 to 20 meteors an hour, making for a great late-night show, though optimal viewing will be in the early hours of dawn on November 18, according to EarthSky.

Leonid meteor, second angle
The Leonid meteor shower

While you won’t need binoculars or a fancy telescope to catch any of these showers, remember that it’s getting pretty cold fast, and meteor-watching requires a lot of patience. In the summer, I’d suggest bringing rosé, but with winter fast-approaching, you should take a thermos of cabernet — or hot chocolate. Don’t forget to bring some snacks.

In any case, happy stargazing, everyone!