November 14th, 2010
09:59 PM ET

Leonid meteor shower peaks Wednesday

A meteor streak photographed in Sherborn, Massachusetts, during the 2001 Leonid meteor shower.

Skygazers will have the best opportunity to witness the Leonid meteor shower in the two to three hours before dawn on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the editors of StarDate magazine.

If skies are clear, viewers should expect to see at least 20 meteors per hour, the magazine said. The nearly full Moon will set several hours before dawn, so viewers won't have to worry about it washing out meteors as dawn approaches. 

The name Leonid comes from the constellation Leo, which appears to be the source of the meteor shower. It turns out that Leonids are actually bits of debris from the Comet Tempel-Tuttle that are left behind as the comet orbits the Sun. The amount of visible meteors depends on where Earth passes through the comet's debris trail.

Read more on StarDate

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Filed under: Space
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Drew

    At least they don't claim we'll see 60 meteors per hour like they usually say. I barely see 4-5 per hour and that's in a dark rural area.

    November 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      It's virtually impossible to see the entire sky. I've seen 30 per hour during some meteor shower events.

      November 15, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      Some people expect something like a Microsoft star-field screensaver. Those are the people that don't get invited to watch.

      November 15, 2010 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
    • dizzle

      @Robin: hahaha! i'd cut them some slack, though...literally the last time i learned anything about space was freshman year in high school, and that was an elective class. clearly we're not in deep space 9 or whatever, but you can't really blame people for being ignorant on this particular subject. :-p

      November 15, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      That's no moon. It's a space station.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. 4sanity

    Saw the Leonids a couple of years ago under clear desert skies in Joshua Tree National Park. Just laid out with a sleeping bag and watched all night. Really wonderful experience with some amazing colors and patterns.

    November 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      i was there last year and it was fantastic! lots of color and really good weed too!

      November 15, 2010 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      I sense something; a presence I've not felt since...

      November 15, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pitt Cairn

    Wake the kids – it's worth it!

    November 15, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • john


      November 15, 2010 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      We're doomed.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. laalaa99stl

    The meteor is the thing in the lower left hand corner. The green blazing streak is a star trail.

    November 15, 2010 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • conoclast

      Then why don't the other stars in the photo have trails too? I think it's another California mystery-missile!!!

      November 15, 2010 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      D@mn fool, I knew you were going to say that.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. ihatebologna

    I watched it last year, and it was okay.

    November 15, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Try Prozac !

      November 15, 2010 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      Why didn't you say so before?

      November 15, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. 517blingdongding

    It is the cosmic vengeance of God speeding toward a planet of sinners.

    November 15, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Lindsay

      You're an idiot.

      November 15, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Bender was right, we're all doomed. It's time to find the hottest Asian babes and get our O faces on!

      November 15, 2010 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. 517blingdongding

    Fire and brimstone from the heavens rain upon the sinners. Haven't you read your Bible!

    November 15, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • PeachyHinky

      Ha! I must be okay 'cause none of the fire and brimstone hit me during the previous Leonid meteor showers. ;-P

      November 15, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dukakis

    It's Obama's fault!

    November 15, 2010 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?

      November 15, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. 517blingdongding

    BUSH/OBAMA is the Earth-bound Godhead, that sees and speaks to God on Earth. It delivers the word of God to mankind.

    November 15, 2010 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • qqww

      Will you STFU already?

      November 15, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • mizsherle

      Awesome.. whoooot!

      November 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 517blingdongding

    Peacjy g-d has many planets of sinners requiring vengeful cosmic devastation.

    You are not beyond the reach of GOD.

    November 15, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?

      November 15, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Steven

    got the chance to see a meteor show on the flight deck of the USS NIMITZ in the durring our 2009 deployment, man that was awsome.

    November 15, 2010 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      You're who?

      November 15, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Steven


    November 15, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
    • stinky steven

      yes it is...and you haven't had one for a couple of weeks.

      November 15, 2010 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      Get in there, you big furry oaf! I don't care what you smell!

      November 15, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. A VERY PROUD Army Veteran and An Army Wife

    They wrote to watch for the meteor shower before dawn on Wednesday and Thursday......what time zone is that? I am in Europe and would love to let my child watch for it. Any assistance on timing for our zone would be appreciated.

    November 15, 2010 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Chopswell

      Uhm....I'd have to say about 3-4 hours pre-dawn time zone would work. (Army "Intelligence?")

      1st Sentence in article: "Skygazers will have the best opportunity to witness the Leonid meteor shower in the two to three hours before dawn on Wednesday and Thursday..."

      November 15, 2010 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Leoniod shower happens all day long (as well as a duration of days for the shower... Its peak is on Wed and Thur) but due to the sun's bright light (and the faint light of the meteour shower), you can't see it during the day (most of the time)... So 3-4 hours is a relative measurement for optimal setting and it is not based on any time zone... So 3-4 your time is what is being addressed..

      Check your weather (it could be cloudy or raining, you can't see the sky)... Low Horizon would be great (if you are out in the farm area with low tree setting, etc. you could see the sky better).. It is called Leonoid because the shooting stars seem come from that that constellation but in reality it could happen anywhere on the sky... Lastly, it could get cold in some area so bundle up and keep warm

      November 15, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      It's not over yet.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. conoclast

    "Meteor Shower": for when them puppies get really dirty!

    November 15, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      Garbage chute. Really wonderful idea. What an incredible smell you've discovered! Let's get out of here! Get away from there...

      November 15, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. joanne

    I live in the fingerlakes region in ny state would I beable to see this meteor shower???

    November 15, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Chopswell

      Probably not. Just stay in bed.

      November 15, 2010 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Yes, the bigger issues are:
      1) Sky itself (cloudy or not – sadly it is cloudy and going to rain so visibility might be bad)
      2) Moon (it is waxing – meaning heading towards a full moon so it is present through the night sky – I believe it is half moon as of today)
      3) Lights which some areas of the Finger Lake is very remote and dark

      November 15, 2010 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Ben

      They've just made the jump into hyperspace.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
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