Watch Leonid Meteor Shower This Weekend



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While some might say the weekend before Thanksgiving is too early to make a holiday, every year around that time the Leonid meteor shower brings many opportunities to do so.

This year's fall star bath is expected to reach its peak late Saturday and enter Sunday morning.

It always happens in mid-November, according to NASA, averaging around 15 meteors per hour streaking in the night sky during the annual peak shower.

Cascade will compete with the moon gibbous waxing so that the best time to watch is after the moon has been arranged but before dawn.

NASA recommends finding sites that are far from city lights or roads and give your eyes time to adjust to darkness.

"In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will start seeing meteors," the space agency wrote.

In addition, observers must be patient and ready to feel comfortable, carrying sleeping bags, blankets or garden chairs. They also have to check the weather – clouds can damage the scenery and being cold can damage the experience.

In the night sky, it would look like a meteor originating from the constellation Leo, which gave its name. However, this is not their origin or the best part of the sky to look for them.

"It's actually better to see Leonids away from the beam of light. They will look longer and more spectacular from this perspective," NASA notes.

The meteor itself comes from comet 55P / Tempel-Tuttle, which completes orbit around the sun every 33 years. When a comet passes the sun, a trail of debris is made. The earth then passes through a cloud of space dust every November.

This process means that every 33 years or more viewers on Earth can experience Leonid storms, which are far more intense than Leonid baths and can produce hundreds to thousands of meteors per hour.

"The explosion of meteor activity is best seen when the parent object, comet 55P / Tempel-Tuttle, is near perihelion (the closest approach to the sun). But it is not the freshest material we see from comets, but debris from before. at the same time, "wrote the American Meteor Society.

One such explosion occurred in 1966, with thousands of meteors burning in the sky for 15 minutes.

NASA hosted a webpage that compiled eyewitness reports from a 1966 storm and one of the eyewitnesses, Mike Jones, who was a cadet at Fort Wolters near Mineral Wells, Texas, at the time, said he observed dozens of falling meteors from the night sky every second.

"The Leonid Storm of 1966 will always be a natural miracle that I will never forget, the night in which the sky rains on the fire!" Jones writes.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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