Leonid Meteor Shower 2013: How To See 'Shooting Stars' This Weekend

Get ready to see some "shooting stars" this weekend, skywatchers.

The 2013 Leonid meteor shower is expected to be visible from Nov. 16 through Nov. 18. Weather permitting, observers around the world should be able to see the brightest "Leonids" streak across the sky from Saturday night through Sunday morning. The Northern Hemisphere will be treated to the prime show, as it has the best view of the constellation Leo, from which the meteor shower derives its name.

Unfortunately, this year's Leonid meteor shower will not be as visible as the show has been in the past years. Since the moon turns full on Nov. 17 -- in the midst of the shower -- only the brightest of the meteors will be apparent to most watchers. For some, the "shooting stars" may not be detectable at all.

Like last year's Leonid meteor shower, projections suggest that there will be two peaks of activity -- one at 5 a.m. EST on Nov. 17 and the second at 11 a.m. EST, Universe Today reports. Since the meteors are most visible during the dark overnight hours, East Coast viewers will probably have the best chance of seeing the show around the first peak, while the second peak may be best for West Coast watchers.

NASA recommends going outside 30 minutes ahead of the show, so your eyes can adjust to the night sky. Also, it's best to choose a viewing location away from artificial lighting. Typically, 10 to 15 meteors are visible per hour.

For those who are unable to step outside or can't view the meteors from their location, NASA and the privately owned SLOOH Space Camera are both offering live streams of the radiant show.

Watch NASA's broadcast of the Leonid meteor shower from Huntsville, Ala., on Ustream, or see SLOOH's all-sky view in the video above.



Meteor Showers