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Return of the Leonids: Saturday Night--Be There
homeschooljoy | November 17, 2006 at 02:19 pmby
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"We expect an outburst of more than 100 Leonids per hour," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL. This pales in comparison to the Leonid storms of 2001 and 2002, when sky watchers saw thousands of meteors. Even so, a hundred per hour would make the Leonids one of the best showers of 2006.
But don't get too disappointed just yet. Read farther down in the NASA story and you will find this:
Extra: Don't believe everything you read. While meteor forecasters have done a splendid job predicting Leonid outbursts in recent yearsâsometimes "nailing the peak within minutes"âthey could be wrong in 2006. The outburst might happen at an unexpected time or it might be better than expected. Cooke urges enthusiasts everywhere to keep an eye out for Leonid meteors the nights of Nov. 17th â 19th. "The best time to look," he says, "is just before local dawn when the constellation Leo is high in the sky."
Viewing in North America is expected to be best on the Atlantic coast side between the hours of 11:45 pm and 1:30 am on Nov 18-19.
The NASA page also has maps and images so that you can see for yourself.
To find the best place around you to view the meteor shower, check out this link to the International Dark Sky Society's Dark Sky Finder. This tool will help you to find the darkest sky available for your meteor watching enjoyment.