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Leonids Meteor Shower Will Peak in the Night Sky

Throughout the year as the Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through the cosmic debris flow. The resulting meteor shower can illuminate the night sky from dusk to dawn, and if you are lucky, you might be able to catch a glimpse.

The next bath you might be able to see is Leonids. Active between November 6 and November 30, this event culminates around Sunday night until Monday morning, or November 17-18.

Leonid is one of the most dazzling meteor showers and every few decades produces a meteor storm where more than 1,000 meteors can be seen in an hour. Cross your fingers for luck – the last time Leonid was strong was in 2002. The parent comet was called Comet-Temple / Tuttle and orbited the sun every 33 years.

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If you see a meteor shower, what you usually see is the remnants of an ice comet crashing into Earth's atmosphere. Comets are a kind of dirty snowball: As they travel through the solar system, they leave a dusty trail of rock and ice left in space long after they leave. When the Earth passes through this comet's cascade of waste, debris – which can be as small as a grain of sand – penetrates the sky at such a speed that it explodes, making the appearance of heavenly fireworks. General rule of thumb with meteor showers: You have never witnessed Earth crossing into remnants of the comet's newest orbit. Conversely, the burned bits come from the previous trajectory. For example, during the Perseid meteor shower you see a meteor released from when its parent comet, Comet Swift-Tuttle, was visited in 1862 or earlier, not from the most recent trajectory in 1992.

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