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The Leonid Meteor Shower
11.18.04
Group of 10 stars -- six form a backwards question mark, three make a triangle and one is between the question mark and triangle
It's time for a shower. November brings the Leonid meteor shower. This shower is called the Leonid shower because the meteors seem to come from a point in the constellation Leo. But they are really much closer to Earth than these stars are. The starting point, called the radiant, is found in the part of Leo that looks to be a backwards question mark. This part is sometimes called the "sickle."

Image to right: This is what you might see when looking for the constellation Leo. Credit: NASA

A meteor is the streak of light that we see when a meteoroid enters Earth's atmosphere. The Leonids usually contain many bright meteors with trails that can be seen for several minutes. And, you may see fireballs.
Night sky filled with stars and meteors over low mountains


Image to left: Between the hours of midnight and dawn are the best times to see the Leonids. Credit: NASA

The shower began November 17. To see the Leonids, lie outside in a dark place between midnight and dawn. Point your feet east and look carefully. You may see a spectacular light show.
 
Learn the difference between meteors and meteoroids -- read Space Rocks.
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Read about the Perseid meteor shower.
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