It's meteor shower time. On Sunday night the annual Leonid meteor shower is going to peak, and you can watch the show, live online.
From 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. PST, Slooh.com will livestream video from its telescope in the Canary Islands and we'll be carrying the feed in the video box above.
The Leonid meteor shower occurs each November when the Earth passes through a stream of debris left in the wake of comet Tempel-Tuttle. The icy comet orbits the sun once every 33 years, shedding dust and detritus as it zips through space. When bits of that detritus burn up in our planet's atmosphere, we see meteors.
The Leonids are considered one of the more dependable meteor showers of the year, delivering an average of 15 shooting stars per hour. Occaionally, they even produce meteor storms. For example, in 1966, observers reported seeing 1,000 meteors per minute for one, glorious, 15-minute period. There is no meteor storm expected this year, and unfortunately the moon will be almost totally full during the peak of the Leonids, and its light will drown out all but the brightest meteors.
If you prefer, you can also try to see the 2013 Leonid meteor shower for yourself. The best viewing time is between midnight and dawn local time. The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Leo. You might also consider looking up later in the week when the moon is a little dimmer.
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