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November 16, 2009

Reminder: Leonid Meteor Shower Tonight

Forgot to mention it earlier. If you're more fortunate than me and not stuck in the city with no sky to be seen, you might remember to look up late, late tonight.

Sky-watchers in North America can expect to see up to 30 meteors hourly tonight as the annual Leonid meteor shower peaks in the wee hours of Tuesday, Nov. 17. Earth will cross the first meteor-producing stream on this date starting at around 1 a.m. PST, experts predict.

This shower, consisting of debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle, may not be as grand as the Perseids of this past summer (a recent year’s meteor is pictured above, in Joshua Tree National Park), but the show should still be worth watching.

And it’ll be unusual. “A remarkable feature of this year’s shower is that Leonids will appear to be shooting almost directly out of the planet Mars,” said Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office on a NASA blog.

Lemme know if you hear (or have heard) the mystery meteor hiss. I did when I was in highschool watching and I still can't explain it. Maybe it is all in our heads?

Thanks to @SarahW for the reminder.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:47 PM

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