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Astronomers advise amateur sky gazers to witness the shower on Monday, after midnight and again on Tuesday morning, specifically at 5 a.m. EST. Also, for people who do not want to leave the comfort of their home or for those who will simply not be in the area where the shower is visible, Slooh.com as well as NASA will start live streaming the event, after 8 p.m.
Experts have predicted that a number between 10 and 15 meteors per hour will mesmerize the audience. Although the annual storm has seen better days, especially in 1966 when hundreds of meteors per hour lit up the sky and even the homes of a lucky group of people, this year’s event also promises to be fantastic, as the waning-crescent moon and the darkness of the sky will emphasize the beauty of the meteors.
The Leonid Meteor Shower is associated with the Tempel-Tuttle comet, which orbits around the sun every 33 years. Leonids are actually bits of this comet that are visible to us when our planet passes them every November. The bits collide with our atmosphere at tremendous speeds causing them to appear as “shooting stars”.
The best view can be found away from the city hassle and any sort of artificial light. Meteors will start showing above the line of the northeast horizon and will appear as if they’ve originated from the constellation Leo, thus the name Leonid.
Other showers that are visible throughout the year are the Perseids and the Orionids.
Perseids shower is associated with the Perseus constellation and has the Swift-Tuttle as a parent comet. The shower can be watched in July or August. Horace Parnell Tuttle is one of the two discoverers of both the Swift-Tuttle and Tempel-Tuttle.
The parent of the Orionids is probably one of the most famous, Haley’s Comet. Viewers can witness the star show around the middle of October.
Stargazers now have a month’s preparation time until the next shower, Geminids.