Everything You Need to Know About the Leonid Meteor Shower That Will Be Visible Early Tuesday

Meteor shower
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Shooting stars will be decorating the sky early Tuesday as the Leonid meteor shower bolts across the upper atmosphere. The meteor shower, called Leonid, which is a celestial event that gets its name from the constellation Leo the Lion, will consist of colorful fast-moving meteors that dart across the sky, according to the American Meteor Society.

The meteor shower appeared Monday morning and is expected to continue into the early hours on Tuesday. The shower will move quickly, as fast as 44 miles per second, some of the fastest meteors.

Part of this event includes fireballs, that are brighter and larger than most and can remain visible for longer than other meteors. Also visible will be "earth grazers" which get their name for appearing close to Earth with long, colorful tails.

It takes 33 years for the comet to orbit the sun. On average, there are 10 and 15 meteors per hour. The meteors come in various colors, depending on their metal property, according to NASA. 

This year, the meteor shower will not produce a meteor storm, which is when nearly 1,000 meteors shoot across the sky, by the hour. The last time that event took place was in 2001, CNN reported.

There also won't be an encounter with dense clouds of debris until 2099, because the fresh material from the comet takes several years to travel –– in this case, 79 years.

Experts recommend that stargazers from across the globe look up at the night sky between midnight and dawn on Tuesday. To get a clear sky, it is best to remain astray from city lights which can obstruct the view. The moon will only be 5% visible, making for a darker and clearer sky. Some storms along the West Coast might obstruct the view, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

NASA recommends using a camera with manual focus, and also use a shutter release cable and wide-angle lens to capture the magic.


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