Annual Leonids meteor shower's timing is good this year

Annual Leonids Meteor Shower's Timing Is Good This Year

Tuesday night, you may want to put away Netflix and see a show outside instead. NASA says the Leonids meteor shower is expected to peak around midnight Tuesday and last until dawn Wednesday. If the sky is clear and you're away from light pollution during the peak time, NASA predicts you'll see about 15 meteors an hour.

This meteor shower gets its name from the Leo constellation because the "meteors radiate outward from the vicinity of stars representing the Lion's mane," according to EarthSky.

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The meteors are really bits of leftover debris from the Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which comes through our solar system every 33 years.

The Leonids typically fill the sky every November, sometimes bringing a meteor shower. Though we're not expecting to see a full-blown shower this year, the moon is in a perfect position to see the shower clearly.

If you miss it Tuesday, there's no need to worry. The shower will continue until the end of month — it just might take a bit more squinting to see it.

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Annual Leonids meteor shower's timing is good this year
Debris in low-Earth orbit. (Photo via ESA)
Currently, a thick band of levitating space junk — composed primarily of broken satellite pieces and discarded rocket boosters — skirts the Earth. Two or three times a day, a satellite circling our planet narrowly misses a torrent of the orbital debris. This phenomenon has jeopardized not only current space travelers, but future missions as well. (Photo via NASA)
The growing problem of space debris. (Photo via ESA)
Trackable objects in orbit around Earth. (Photo via ESA)
GRAPHIC - (CIRCA 1989): This National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) handout image shows a graphical representation of space debris in low Earth orbit. According to the European Space Agency there are 8,500 objects larger than 10 cm (approximately 3.9 inches) orbiting the earth and 150,000 larger than 1 cm (approximately 0.39 inches). NASA investigators are looking into the possibility that space debris may have caused the break up of the Space Shuttle Columbia upon reentry February 1, 2003 over Texas. (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

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