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Watch the 2013 Leonid Meteor Shower Live on Ustream
November 14, 2013

The 2013 Leonid meteor shower peaks on the night of Saturday, Nov. 16 into the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 17. To assist patient skywatchers around the world, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center will offer a live Ustream view of the skies over Huntsville, Ala. You can view the Ustream feed on this page: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-msfc.

Unfortunately the full moon in the sky will likely wash out all but the very brightest Leonids. Meteor rates, normally 10-20 per hour, are predicted to be less than 10 per hour. The shower should be visible from any populated area on the planet with clear dark skies, though Northern Hemisphere observers are favored due to the radiant's location in the constellation Leo.

[image-36]In the video above, a bright Leonid fireball explodes in Earth's upper atmosphere in 2002. (NASA/MSFC/MEO)

How to See Leonid Meteors

For optimal viewing, find an open sky because Leonid meteors can appear in any part of it. Lie on the ground and look straight up into the dark sky. Again, it is important to be far away from artificial lights. Your eyes can take up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so allow plenty of time for your eyes to dark-adapt.

Do You Have Photos of Leonid Meteors?

If you have some great images of the Leonid meteor shower, please consider adding them to the Leonid Meteors photo group in Flickr. Who knows -- your images may attract interest from the media and receive international exposure.

More About the Leonids

Leonids are bits of debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Every 33 years the comet visits the inner solar system and leaves a stream of dusty debris in its wake. Many of these streams have drifted across the November portion of Earth's orbit. Whenever our planet hits one, meteors appear to be flying out of the constellation Leo.

"We can predict when Earth will cross a debris stream with pretty good accuracy," says NASA astronomer Bill Cooke. "The intensity of the display is less certain, though, because we don't know how much debris is in each stream." Caveat observer!

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Page Last Updated: November 18th, 2013
Page Editor: Brooke Boen