Leonid meteor shower will peak this weekend

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The annual Leonid meteor shower reaches its peak this weekend.

The peak of the shower is expected from about the evening of November 16 to the morning of November 18. Unfortunately, the full moon comes November 17, right in the midst of the shower’s peak.

In 2013, the moon will wash out all but the very brightest meteors from view.

If the skies are clear during the peak viewing times, just before dawn on Sunday and Monday morning, you just might see a comet or two in addition to the Leonid meteor streaks.

Meteor showers are sparked when our planet passes through such trails of cometary debris.

When those cosmic bits of grit and gravel slam through the upper atmosphere, they leave a glowing streak of ionized dust and gas that we see as a meteor.

Leonids are so named because they appear to radiate from the constellation Leo. During the predawn hours, the radiant is high up in the eastern sky.

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