How to Watch the Leonid Meteor Shower This Week

Sometimes the Leonid meteors can shoot across the sky in brilliant colors. The color of the meteor depends on the metal in the meteor, and for these green ones, it was likely magnesium, according to NASA.

In the early morning hours on Tuesday, the Leonid meteor shower will send shooting stars across the sky.

Meteors can be harder to see when there is a bright moon, but fortunately the moon will only be 5% visible, according to the American Meteor Society. The meteor shower is expected to peak on November 16 and 17. The Leonids will be most visible from the Northern Hemisphere, but you can also view them from the Southern Hemisphere.

Weather can also impact visibility. The United States should have mostly clear skies during the peak nights, except for some storms along the West Coast, according to CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.

The diminutive Comet Tempel-Tuttle, the parent body of the Leonids, will cross Earth’s orbit, creating a vaporizing shower of debris in the atmosphere. The comet takes 33 years to complete one orbit of the sun.

Typically, there are between 10 and 15 meteors per hour. Check online to see when it will be visible in your part of the world.

The meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Leo the Lion, as the meteors will be coming from the stars that make up the lion’s mane. But you don’t need to look in the direction of the constellation, because the meteors will appear all across the sky.

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SOURCE: CNN, Ashley Strickland and Megan Marples