November 17th, 2010
08:40 PM ET

Catch it if you can: Leonid meteor shower continues tonight

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

Stargazers have the option of staying up real late tonight or waking up very early Thursday morning for optimal viewing of this year's Leonid meteor shower.

Weather permitting, viewers can expect to see up to 20 meteors per hour after the gibbous moon sets  between 3 and 4 a.m. Thursday, depending on where you live, according to StarDate magazine.  At this time, look eastward to see the meteors.

Consult this handy table, courtesy of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, to find out the time the moon sets tonight where you live.

All you'll need are your eyes and a dark place far from the lights of a city to view the meteor shower without a telescope or binoculars, as long as skies are clear.

The light of the moon, sun and stars hinder meteor-watching. With the full moon approaching next week, tonight offers the best remaining opportunity to witness the annual November shower.

The name Leonid comes from the constellation Leo, from which the meteors appear to radiate. But Leonids are bits of debris from the Comet Tempel-Tuttle that are left behind as the comet orbits the sun.

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Filed under: Space
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Mandy

    I can't wait to view the meteor shower tonight. I've found a ton of great viewing information on this site: http://www.spacedex.com/leonids/ – I hope everyone enjoys the show!

    November 17, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Light of Truth

      Oh, paaleeeeeese! It's just a few tiny light streaks in the sky fleeting so fast, if you blink you'll miss them! If you're able to see anything at all, I assure you, it won't be much. It rarely ever is.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oklahoma29

      Boo Light boo! Mandy I personally think these kind of things are amazing. I rarely get to see them because I live so far south. Hope you get to see the meteor shower!

      November 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martin luthor

      Can I come and join you Mandy?

      November 18, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      Last night I stayed wake up to 2.30 am and did not see nothing (Florida) 😦

      November 18, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Watching now from pt pleasant nj coast. Just onevso far. Damn its cold!

      November 18, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jake

    I blame Barack Obama!!!! The sky is falling and it's his fault!

    November 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Agreed.

      Obama has done nothing useful & this country is a mess.
      2 more years and all the liberals will be out.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sairah

    yay! can't wait!

    November 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Richard

    Too bad about the horrible light pollution in cities that drowns out all but the brightest stars. If the liberal envirokooks are so down on wasted energy, how about getting rid of the crappy 1950's-style streetlights that send 1/2 their light up into the sky and use shielded ones (like in Tucson) that use FAR less energy??

    November 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jwinters

      That's right Ricahard, blame the liberals. That's exactly what this article was intended for. -_-

      November 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Light of Truth

      Just like you moronic Republicans, casting aspersions onto the Democrats over and over until you want and need something useful like better streetlights.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JG

      "Just like you moronic Republicans, casting aspersions onto the Democrats over and over until you want and need something useful like better streetlights."

      AHAHAHAHAHAH now THAT's funny!

      November 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mikeymikemike

    NEAT!!!

    November 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ideas

    good idea Richard.
    as a start
    .
    I've mourned the loss of our clear view of the stars at night.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Trolldigger

    I blame George Bush. This is his fault somehow.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jai

      Now, that's what I am talking about! It will be all of Bush's fault if we don't get to see it. Him and his cronies messed up the economy, country, and the sky for our star-gazing pleasure. All we need is Sarah Palin to get her ugly face in the White House to finish sending us into the worse depression ever! Y'all get off Obama. It isn't his fault that there was a clown in the White House before him that messed up our country before he moved in. For all those that complain, why don't you run for president and tell us how you will get your ideas passed the House and Senate. Impossible...grow up!

      November 18, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. juggaletta_j

    OMG! Really? Must everything become political? If anyone tried to change light styles right now it would be voted down for costing too much in tax payer dollars! What we need is more common sense and less people trying to make everything about themselves and their own political agendas!

    November 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bill

    I live in the city and our neighbors think a streetlight every 20' will save then during a home invasion. Brilliant.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ba ny

    Bush declared the metoer showers a terrorist orginization. that give us the go ahead to waterboard and invade them. but on the bright side the better buisness bureau gave them an a+ rating along with the hamas!

    November 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SB

    The number of streetlights is OK. The problem is the ancient, inefficient streetlights that light the sky as much as they light the street. Newer lights that don't have this problem would also use way less energy, so replacing the old ones makes sense from multiple angles.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sure

    Meteor shower best seen before dawn – Dang! I was going to watch it in mid-afternoon.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. csw4

    Yo "light of truth" ! IT'S YOUR FAULT i couldn't see this @ 3 or 4 a.m. last night BIATCH!!

    November 17, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Annie

    aw come on.......just be still & enjoy some peace & quiet, and the meteor show.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Raysmom

    I think it was 7 years ago that the Leonids were the best they will be in our lifetime. I dragged my husband outside and it was an amazing light show- huge meteors streaking throughout the low horizon for almost 2 hours. My teenagers wouldn't wake up- I have always regretted that! I'll watch tonight- good info.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
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