Leonid meteor shower peaks Wednesday, but weather could inhibit viewing

Missouri

Bright meteor streaking across the night sky above Payson, Arizona during the Leonids meteor shower.

ST. LOUIS – The Leonid meteor shower will peak this week, but the viewing won’t be the best.  

November’s Leonid meteor shower runs from about Nov. 6th through the 30th but peaks the morning of Nov. 17. The meteors result from Earth moving through the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle.

Comets’ orbits are full of debris, pieces of which smack into Earth’s atmosphere and vaporize, creating streaks of light across the sky.  

In 2021, the Moon will be almost full and will hang around be in the sky for most of the night, washing out many of the meteors. Specifically, in St. Louis, clouds and rain are expected Wednesday, also canceling out the show on the peak morning. 

If you’d like to look for meteors on nights surrounding the peak, get as far from city lights as possible, lay flat on your back, and look straight up at the wide sky.  

You may be able to see 10 to 15 meteors an hour.

Again, the bright Moon will make it hard to see fainter meteors. The best time to look is just before dawn after the moon has set. 

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