Tuesday marks the expected peak of this year’s Leonid meteor shower. Experts are predicting 20 to 30 meteors per hour over the Americas.
This years meteor shower is supposed to produce a smaller sprinkling of twinkling meteors over North America with a more intense burst over Asia. The new moon will set the stage for what could be one the best Leonid showers in years according to NASA.
"We're predicting 20 to 30 meteors per hour over the Americas, and as many as 200 to 300 per hour over Asia," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "Our forecast is in good accord with independent theoretical work by other astronomers."
NASA reports that the first stream is supposed to come through at 4 a.m. Tuesday. The debris in this stream is a diffuse mix of particles from several old streams. It should create a gentle show of two to three dozen meteors per hour. For better viewing dark skies are recommended.
According to NASA every 33 years the comet Tempel-Tuttle leaves bits of debris, called Leonids, in the inner solar system. Occasionally the debris crosses earths November orbital path and when we hit it, meteors come shooting out of the constellation Leo.
For more information on Leonid Meteor Showers clink on the link to visit NASA's website.