Leonids Meteor Shower 2012, Watch Tonight

There won't be thousands of meteors per hour, but clear skies mean a good show none-the-less.

The Leonids meteor shower, has, through the centuries, been one of the most active showers there is. It's set to peak just before dawn on the morning of Sat., Nov. 17.

According to National Geographic, in 1833 skygazers saw a hundred thousand meteors an hour during a meteor "storm" -- a meteor shower with at least 1,000 meteors per hour, according to NASA.

There probably won't be a storm this year, according to EarthSky.com, but the Leonids shower should still be a sight to see, thanks, in part to the moon. Or lack thereof. The moon will set shortly after the sun and the forecast predicts clear skies; perfect meteor-viewing conditions.

Like all meteor showers, the Leonids are named after the constellation from which the meteors seem to radiate, in this case the constellation Leo. To find Leo, first find the Big Dipper. Below and to the right of the "bowl" of the dipper is Leo, the Lion.

If you can't find Leo, though, don't worry. Meteors will be zipping around the entire sky. That's because a meteor is the result of dust and other particles burning up as the entire earth moves through the debris of a comet, in this case, Temple-Tuttle. 

The best time to view is just before dawn. Dress warm, bring a thermos and prepare to be wowed.


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