How To Watch This Weekend's Dazzling Leonid Meteor Shower

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images.
Last weekend, you likely had to search the sky to find even the moon — you can expect a major change of scenery this Saturday and Sunday, stargazers. Not only will the moon be visible as a waxing gibbous, but a full-blown meteor shower, known as the Leonids, will grace the heavens as well.
Named for the constellation Leo, from which the meteors appear to fly, the Leonids occur every year sometime in mid-November, and this year, NPR reports, they will reach their peak late on Saturday night and into early Sunday morning. If you want to see them in action, NASA recommends finding somewhere with little to no artificial light, such as street lights (sadly, this may mean that city dwellers will miss out on the Leonids' display).
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On a related note, the moon's visibility during the Leonids may be too much of a good thing, unfortunately. According to Earthsky, stargazing is best done on relatively moonless nights, as its glare can interfere with the light of other celestial bodies. So, before you head out for the night, look up when the moon sets in your area — and plan your shower-watching for after that time.
Regardless of the visibility or what time, exactly, you choose to go out, pack and dress accordingly. It's the middle of November, so that means plenty of layers and at least one thermos containing a warm beverage. Your extremities will thank you.
Compared to the Orionid meteor shower that took place last month, this shower may seem a little tame. Where between 15 and 20 meteors were expected to be seen every hour of the Orionids, NASA estimates that the Leonids' meteor rates will be about 15 per hour at their peak. Nevertheless, it's still considered a major shower — and one that will arrive just in time for your Friendsgiving dinner festivities this weekend.
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