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Friday, November 16, 2012

Leonid Meteor Shower to Peak Pre-dawn Saturday

The annual Leonid meteor shower reaches its peak this week and may get a boost from a moonless weekend sky.

The actual peak of the 2012 Leonid meteor shower is on Saturday (Nov. 17) at 3 a.m. EST, but, like all meteor showers, the celestial fireworks display will be visible for a few nights before and after that peak time, weather permitting. Because the moon will have set by that time, its bright glow won’t wash out any Leonids you may see.

The Leonids are associated with the periodic comet Tempel-Tuttle, first discovered in 1865. This comet has a period of 33.2 years. It was last close to the sun in 1998 and will return in 2031. After Tempel-Tuttle’s discovery, it was traced back to a comet observed in 1366.

Read more from on Mashable.