Star Show: The Return of the Leonid Meteor Shower

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A meteor streaks over Fort Mountain State Park in Georgia in this photo captured by skywatcher James L. Brown, Jr. The annual Leonid meteor shower will peak overnight on Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 17-18). - JAMES L. BROWN
  • James L. Brown
  • A meteor streaks over Fort Mountain State Park in Georgia in this photo captured by skywatcher James L. Brown, Jr. The annual Leonid meteor shower will peak overnight on Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 17-18).
You'll need plenty of extra layers to brave the cold, but late-night stargazers may be able to catch a glimpse of the Leonid Meteor Shower late tonight or early Tuesday morning. NASA says a waning-crescent moon should darken the skies just enough to view the meteors.

Space.com says the Leonid meteor shower of 2014 would peak on Nov. 17-18, but don't expect to see a dazzling celebration.

National Geographic says the best way to look at the meteor shower is with your naked eyes. "Since the meteors can appear to zip across large tracts of overhead sky, it's best to lie down on a reclining law chair back-to-back with an observing buddy."

The Leonid gets it name because the shower's radiant point is located within the constellation of Leo and the meteors are caused by the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which sweeps through the solar system every 33.5 years. Each time it comes closer to the sun, it leaves a trail of debris. Scientists say this year's edition of the Leonid show might reveal five to 10 meteors per hour. Keep in mind that any light pollution will reduce your chances of making a sighting.