One of the most famous annual meteor shows, the Leonid shower, is coming to an end this weekend, and even though this year's show can be bad, star watchers will still be treated to the occasional spectacular fireballs and shooting stars.
Leonid will be best visible in the early hours of Sunday and Monday morning, between 2 am and 4 pm, when the sky is darker, for stargazers willing to sacrifice their eyes closed. There is no need for telescopes as the shower will be perfectly visible to the naked eye – of course the clouds are far away.
Although the Leonid shower has produced tens of thousands of meteors per hour in the past, this year's event will not be as remarkable. Expect no more than 10 to 15 meteors per hour at best, and even these can be hard to see because of the bright moon in the Waning Gibbous phase.
The meteor shower Leonid is named after the constellation Leo (the Lion) and occurs every year as Earth passes through the wreckage field left in the wake of the Temple-Tuttle comet, creating shooting stars, streaks of light in the night sky that last less than a second as cosmic debris burns in our atmosphere.
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