Stargazers prepare for annual Leonid meteor shower

Stargazers prepare for annual Leonid meteor shower

Stargazers prepare for annual Leonid meteor shower

The meteor shower is set to begin November 17, with the best time to watch it starting in the early hours of the next morning.

The 2017 Leonid meteor shower will peak during the early morning hours of Saturday, November 18, 2015, which is predicted to produce up to 10 meteors per hour this year.

But don't expect to see a lot of meteors.

The annual phenomenon occurs as the Earth comes through the debris field from the Tempel-Tuttle comet.

Leonids are made up of bits of debris from the Comet Tempel-Tuttle.

Accompanying the return of its parent comet, the Leonid meteor shower arrives as a storm of meteors every 33 years, producing more than 1,000 "shooting stars" per hour.

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Where does the Leonid Meteor Shower come from?

"Viewers in mid-northern latitudes should see around five meteors per hour Friday evening, increasing to around two dozen per hour as dawn approaches". That's the main reason the Leonids have been weak in recent years.

First, there's good news about the moon: This year, visibility will be excellent because the new moon will take place November 18, providing a flawless view of the meteors, which will not be washed out by any lunar light, said.

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. Don't go out too late, though, as pre-dawn twilight can wash out dark skies hours before the sun rises in many locations.

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The Leonids appear to be coming from the constellation Leo the Lion (hence their name) in the east, but they should be visible all the way across the sky.

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