Attention Star Gazers: Star Date Magazine reports that the Leonid meteor shower will be at its best for viewing a few hours before dawn on November 17 and 18, 2010.
Though there is always some uncertainty in the number of meteors that the Leonid shower will produce, viewers can expect to see at least 20 meteors per hour if skies are clear, the magazine writes. Because the moon will set several hours before dawn, it will not wash out any meteors 2-3 hours before daybreak, making that prime time for viewing the shower.
Star Date notes that Leonid meteors are not associated with the constellation Leo, despite the fact that they appear to fall from the star group. Instead, they are leftover debris from the comet, Tempel-Tuttle.
“As the comet orbits the Sun, it leaves a trail of debris. The Leonids meteors recur each year when Earth passes through the comet’s debris trail.”
To best view the Leonid Meteor shower, Star Date recommends looking for state or city parks, or other safe, dark sites to get away from city lights. Lying on a blanket or reclining chair will also help you get a full sky view.
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