Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Meteor shower to light up the First Coast sky tonight

Meteor shower to light up the First Coast sky tonight

The Leonid meteor shower will be visible as the world crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle.

These brief streaks of light from meteors, sometimes called "shooting stars", peak on Friday night November 17 when earth moves through the centre of the dust trail left behind by the comet.

If you're in an area that can't see the meteor shower clearly, or if you just don't feel like getting out of bed, you can stream the Leonid meteor shower live on Slooh.

While the Leonids are famous for creating meteor storms or outbursts - showers of roughly 1,000 or more meteors per hour - this year's Leonids will produce about 10-15 meteors per hour, according to Deborah Byrd at EarthSky.org. "That famous shower had a major effect on the development of the scientific study of meteors".

As the stargazing season in the United Kingdom has finally set in, take a chance and spare some time this week to admire the attractive Leonid meteor shower. "It's one reason the Leonids are so famous".

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The best time to see the meteors is between midnight and dawn on either of those two nights. In heavy years, the shower can produce up to 50,000 shooting stars in an hour.

But don't expect to see a lot of meteors. That was mainly because the moon shined more brightly than some of the meteors.

Bill Cooke of NASA told NASA, 'Go outside, find a dark sky, lie flat on your back and look straight up, and be prepared to spend a couple of hours outside'. That's about 200 times faster than a speeding bullet.

The Leonid meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Leo. In New York, for example, the Leonids will come from the east, roughly a few outstretched fists above the horizon.

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