Thanks to the Huffington Post for this beautiful graphic. You can also read an excellent article on “How to Find ISON, the Comet of the Century” at Mashable.
Observing the Leonids
|The Leonid meteor shower has produced some of the most spectacular meteor displays in history, but it is unfortunately periodic in nature.
The Leonids generally begin on November 13 and end on November 21, with maximum generally occurring during the night of Novemer 17/18. The Leonids are barely detectable on the beginning and ending dates, but observers are generally treated to displays of about 10 meteors per hour on the night of maximum. About every 33 years, the Leonids enter a phase of enhanced activity that accompanies the return of its parent comet. During these periods, rates can amount to hundreds and even thousands of meteors per hour. The last such enhanced period occurred during the period of 1998-2002 and the Leonids have been winding down ever since.
Apparently these meteors have been studied since way back in the 1800’s. I have provided a link that contains the full article and also the page has a Southern Hemisphere & Northern Hemisphere chart to find the shower.