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Leonid Meteor shower peaks tonight through Wednesday morning


  • Leonid meteors are seen streaking across the sky over snow-capped Mount Fuji
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The annual Leonid meteor shower should reach its peak tonight and Tuesday night.

The best time to see shooting stars is in the early hours Tuesday and Wednesday morning. 

The Leonids are so named because the streaks of light seem to radiate from the constellation Leo, which rises in the east around midnight.

However, scan the entire sky, since you might see shooting stars in any direction.

A telescope is neither needed nor useful for meteor showers; just make sure you have a dark location, get comfortable and look up. 

One advantage for viewing the Leonids this year: The moon will setbefore midnight and won’t interfere during the prime viewing hours.

The Leonids have an intense peak every 33 years and were responsible for the greatest meteor shower over Hawaii in recent times, the 2001 shower. The Leonids have not been anywhere near as spectacular since 2001, but you can still hope for up to 10 meteors an hour.

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This story was written from Mike Shanahan’s weekly Skywatch column.

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