Leonid meteor shower to peak on Nov 17

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WASHINGTON – The best viewing for this year’s Leonid meteor shower will be several hours before dawn on November 17, according to experts.

The Moon will be below the horizon, so its light will not wash out any

meteors. With clear skies, viewers can expect to see about 15 to 20 meteors per hour, though the shower has proved highly variable in recent years, the editors of StarDate magazine said.

A high-resolution graphic depicting the Leonid meteor shower is available online at StarDate’s Media Center: http://stardate.org/mediacenter.

There, you can also sign up to receive advance e-mail notices of future skywatching events.

Though the meteors will appear to originate from the constellation Leo, the lion, they can be seen in all parts of the sky.

Leonid meteors are not physically associated with Leo. They are tiny pieces of comet Tempel-Tuttle.

The Leonid meteors recur each year when Earth passes through comet Tempel-Tuttle’s debris trail, and small bits of rock burn up in our planet’s atmosphere.

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