Vineyard stargazers, prepare to stay up late. The annual Leonid meteor shower is scheduled to reach its peak tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17, according to astronomers.

Like the better-known August Perseid meteor shower, the Leonid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through a trail of debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Many of the particle clouds burn up in the atmosphere, creating fleeting shooting stars of meteors.

Astronomers say the brightness of the moon may interfere with viewing this evening. The best time to spot meteors will be in the pre-dawn hours. The shower could produce about 20 visible shooting stars per hour.

The Leonid meteors derive their name from the constellation Leo, from which they appear to originate.