Leonoid Meteor Shower to Peak at Dawn on Saturday
Every year at this time, the Leonid meteor shower briefly brightens the sky.
The peak comes this weekend, in the hours before dawn on Saturday. If the weather is clear and you have an appetite, you may enjoy a quiet display of shooting stars.
We're passing through the debris left by a comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. As pieces -- some as small as grains of sand -- burn up in the upper atmosphere, they leave brief, bright streaks. They'll appear to come from the constellation of Leo the Lion, south of the Big Dipper, though they can appear anywhere in the night sky.
Like the Perseid meteors in August, the Leonid shower in November has potential to be interesting, but this is a year of low strength. Later this evening and past midnight, astronomy experts predict about 15 to 20 each hour could fly through our sky. You won’t see all the meteors, but if you see four or five each hour, you’re doing well. The meteor shower peak is expected around 3 a.m. ET, Saturday.