Have an abundance of wishes, but lack shooting stars? If so, then tonight is your lucky night: The prolific Leonid Meteor Shower will peak overnight, filling the sky with shiny bits of space and providing you with the opportunity to wish for everything you ever wanted (and maybe world peace).
The Leonid Meteor Shower returns to our atmosphere in the wee hours of Saturday, November 17. According to The University of Texas’s magazine StarDate, the Moon will be quite low in the sky, so providing there’s no cloud or bad weather, you should have a clear view of the show. If the weather’s good, you might see around 15 to 20 meteors per hour, but there could even be more.
The shower gets its name from the constellation Leo, due to the area from which the meteors originate. However, you will be able to see them in the sky no matter where you live. The display is an annual thing, which usually hits its peak in November.
The meteors, made up of rock molded by ice, are actually little pieces of the comet Tempel-Tuttle. As the comet passes the Sun, the ice melts, causing pieces of rock to break off, forming a debris trail. This is why the Leonid shower is annual—because Earth passes through the trail as it orbits, causing the rock to burn up in our atmosphere. Cool, right?
If you do decide to check out the meteor shower, feel free to share photos or videos you take of event in the comments below or on our GeekTech Facebook page!
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This story, "Leonid meteor shower hits tonight, will give you an eyeful of shooting stars" was originally published by TechHive.