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Saturday, November 17, 2001

Leonid Meteor Shower

Leonid Meteor.
Leonid Meteor.
Credit: NASA/NBC News
(MSNBC) - The Leonid meteor shower promises to bring a spectacular display to the skies over North America in the wee hours of Sunday morning in fact, some experts think it could be the show of the century. And all you need to see it are your eyes, dark skies and a little weather luck. The Leonid shower is brought to us by Comet Tempel-Tuttle, a ball of ice and rock that orbits the sun every 33 years, jettisoning tiny fragments of itself. Each pass lays down a new trail of bits and pieces, or meteoroids, which burn from the friction of the Earth’s atmosphere as we cross the Tempel-Tuttle trails every November. For North American skywatchers, Earth will enter the heavier parts of the stream at about 11 p.m. ET on Saturday. Activity will peak around 5 a.m. Sunday, when as many as 13 meteors per minute could be visible probably for a stretch of time that lasts less than an hour. The peak corresponds to 4 a.m. CT, 3 a.m. MT and 2 a.m. PT.

Pittsburgh area residents (like myself) will find tonight to be one of the foggiest nights on record. It looks like we'll just have to wait three more decades.

(More info:

- posted by Alex @ 15:51 EST