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The Buzz

The Leonid Meteor Shower is Coming This Weekend and Here's What You Need to Know





(Photo via Shutterstock)

It may be cold outside, but this weekend you may want to bundle up, grab some hot cocoa and settle in by a warm fire to watch the show overhead in the nighttime sky.

That's because the Leonid meteor shower will be at its peak overnight on Saturday, November 17.

According to NASA, the show will peak at approximately 15 meteors per hour, where they'll be streaking across the sky at an incredible 44 miles per second. EarthSky.org says the best time to watch will be just after midnight.

Like the previous meteor showers we've had this year, such as the Perseid and Orionid, this one also will be visible with the naked eye. 

But for this one, depending on where you are, weather could bring some challenges. The early forecast in the Chicago area is calling for some cloudy skies on Saturday. But forecasts are just that and nothing is guaranteed, so keep your fingers crossed.

The Leonids get their name from Leo the Lion constellation and like other meteor showers, they'll appear to shoot from all directions. The best strategy is to avoid zeroing in on one particular stretch of sky.

"Go outside, find a dark sky, lie flat on your back and look straight up," said NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke. "Be prepared to spend a couple of hours outside."

For best viewing, try to find a location with as little light pollution as possible. Keep in mind that it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to darkness, so the longer you sit outside, the more you'll be able to see. 

With any event such as this, patience is crucial. We found that out firsthand during the Perseid meteor shower, where we were rewarded with a fairly sweet meteor streaking across the sky around the 17-second mark in this time-lapse video.

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