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Brace Yourself for the Sight of the Year with Leonid Meteor Shower

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The rising radiant of the Leonids versus the nearby waning gibbous Moon. image credit Stellarium

A meteor shower basically consists of many, many, space "rocks" (or meteoroids) that are formed from tiny ice particles that break off comets during orbit around the sun.

The Leonids Meteor Shower occurs every November when meteorids fall towards earth after breaking off a comet.

Though the shower technically lasts from November 15-21, the Leonids will be on their best display early Thursday morning (Nov 17) at around 6 AM EST.

How Many: Expect anywhere from 10-20 meteors per hour, but the moon was just full, which will make it hard to see some of the fainter meteors.

The only other piece of bad news is, well, that supermoon.

This meteor shower has annually brought intense asteroid storms. The meteors in the shower are debris left behind by Tempel-Tuttle, the comet of origin. Drag in the atmosphere cause the debris to heat up and burst into fireballs - called meteors.

When is the best time to watch?

The Leonid meteor shower is an wonderful light show in the sky every year in mid-November, giving skygazers the chance to see meteors, or "shooting stars", streak across the sky.

The Slooh Community Observatory will have an online webcast of tonight's show, complete with a discussion of the shower's history and mythology. Around half of these Leonids will depart unique trails them as they burn down, so if you're in the mood to look and wish upon some falling stars, they don't forget to take a gawk at evening skies of this month, especially today's evening and the night sky.

How can I watch it?

The reason the Leonids are one of the most famous meteor showers is because it's responsible for some of the biggest meteoric outbursts humankind has ever witnessed. Meteors are visible to the naked eye, so you wont need a telescope to catch a glimpse of this shower.

Thanks to Slooh, a mechanical telescopic service, it will feature this November 2016 Leonids Meteor Shower on its website, with a five-hour chance to see it live, right on the computer.

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