The long awaited annual mid-November Leonid meteor shower will peak this weekend. The only problem is that the full moon’s glare may obstruct the annual celestial show.
Assuming that the skies are clear during the peak viewing times, which will be just before the dawn on Sunday morning, you might just see Leonid streaks as well as a comet called ISON (the comet is visible to the naked eye). At its peak, you can expect to see more than 10 meteors per hour. Universe Today estimates the peak time to be about 5 a.m. ET Sunday. The wee hours are best for viewing the Leonid showers because that is when the Earth is turning more directly to the trails left behind by the comet Tempel-Tuttle.
Here’s what it looked like last year
The Leonids are so named because they appear to be coming from constellation Leo the Liona in the East – that is another good clue. During the predawn hours, the radiant is high up in the eastern sky; therefore, that is a good place to start with. If you face the east, the Leonid showers should be visible all the way across the sky. The Northeast and across the Southwest have been touted to be best locations to view the showers this weekend.
(main image via Wikipedia)