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Leonid meteor shower reaches a peak this weekend – here's how you can see the amazing annual event



leonid meteor shower shooting star reuters ali jarekji RTR8VWLAli Jarekji / Reuters

  • The Leonid meteor shower, known for brilliant stripes along the night sky, will peak at this weekend.
  • You can see the Leonids between 12 a.m. and 6 am in any time zone on November 17 and 18.
  • Approximately 20 meteors are expected to appear per hour. Parties in the west and southeast of the United States will have the best viewing conditions.
  • Leonid's best views are usually from rural areas or open fields away from lights.

If you are willing to head for low temperatures early in the morning, you will have the opportunity to marvel at the bright knocks of space debris from Leonid's meteor shower in November, which is at its peak this weekend.

The best time to see this year's Leonids peak is between 12:00 and 6:00 in all time zones across the US on November 17 and 18. The best viewing times are after the moon (early morning when the moon enters Earth's horizon) and even before dawn.

If you notice a meteorite after the moon, there will be less light to interfere with your viewing. And this weekend's moon shining in a nearly full waxy phase, it's better to look at the Leonids without a moon in the sky.

Meteorological showers occur when the Earth moves through a dense cloud of remnants of comet during its orbital journey. What you see is the traces of dust remnants collected over the years. Leonids are usually visible in mid-November, when Comet Tempel-Tuttle sprinkles the Earth's path with stones and ice.

Read more: A strange, cigar-shaped object flew last year through the solar system. Now astronomers know where they come from.

comet tempel-tuttle brazilReuters

The Leonids are known for being prolific, meteorological storms with up to 100,000 meteors scattering the sky every hour. Although this year's shower will not be as huge, experts estimate that people will see up to 20 meteors per hour – more than the average of 10-15 meteors usually seen per hour during the Leonids.

Accuweather reported that there might be a few "mistakes" from the Taurids meteor shower last month, so you could see even a few more meteors than he had anticipated.

Together with the moonlight, any light pollution should be avoided to really see the Leonids. For best views, EarthSky suggests going to the countryside or in an open field where there are few lights or trees.

leonid meteor shower stargazing star trails night night reuters ali jarekji RTXLGBQ "data-link =" Jarekji / Reuters

Viewers in the western United States (from Nevada to Minnesota) and the Southeast States are expected to have the best viewing conditions. The areas in the southwest and south of the Plain will likely be covered by clouds, making it more difficult to see the Leonids. Parts of the country between Colorado and Illinois may also have trouble seeing the shower because it expects the snow to fall over this region this weekend.

The northeast will also have some clouds, and strong winds might make it unpleasant to be out in the middle of the night, according to Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist at Accuweather.

This meteor shower took its name from the constellation of stars Leu and Leu, from which the dust particles disperse and radiate. The next major meteor storm Leonid is not expected to appear until the early 2030s.

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