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Leonid Meteor Shower To Peak Early Saturday Morning

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(credit: CBS) Katie Fehlinger
Meteorologist Katie Fehlinger joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s mor...
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By Katie Fehlinger

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Calling all night owls & early birds – this one’s for you! Grab a nice heavy coat, a warm fuzzy hat, a mug of coffee – and just look up.

The Leonid meteor shower peaks early Saturday morning between midnight and 3am. Look closely and you could see as many as 10-20+ meteors per hour.

How to find it & get the best view

First, get away from the city lights! The more rural, the better since you’ll have the least artificial light to skew the view. But keep in mind, temperatures drop more efficiently outside the urbanized communities, so bundle up! We’re expecting temperatures near or below freezing through the suburbs.

Next, look for the constellation Leo – first face east. Find the Big Dipper. Leo is just below the “bowl” of the dipper.

Other than the chill, weather won’t be an issue.

Stargazers get treated to a good view here in the Delaware Valley courtesy of high pressure and a clearing sky.

Plus the moon is transitioning to its First Quarter phase, so it will be minimally bright (i.e. it won’t take away from the visibility conditions).

What is the Leonid shower?

It received its name since it appears that the meteors originate from the constellation Leo. First seen in the 10th century, the shower is composed of mostly microscopic debris from Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle.

Leonids move over 158,000 mph! The “shooting stars” we see are actually debris within a cometary or asteroidal dust trail.

We get a second chance to see more early Tuesday morning, November 20th, when the Leonid meteor shower peaks for a second time.

Happy stargazing!

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