Leonid meteor shower continues a month of blazing skies

November is a big month for exciting sights in the heavens thanks to a whole bunch of collisions with stuff from space. Here's how to see the show for yourself.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
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Eric Mack
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The Leonids, seen here in 1999, are active for much of each November. NASA/ISAS/Shinsuke Abe and Hajime Yano

'Tis the season...for all kinds of space stuff to get incinerated by Earth's atmosphere. The Leonid meteor shower is set to peak on Tuesday and Wednesday, just as the fiery Taurid meteor showers are wrapping up and just days after we caught a piece of man-made space junk going out in a blaze of glory.

While the Taurids, which peaked earlier in November, are known for boasting numerous fireballs, the Leonids are famous for sometimes producing "meteor storms," when over 1,000 meteors per hour can be seen streaking across the night sky. These storms happen about every 33 years. The last one was in 2002, so we've got some time to wait for the next one.

This year's Leonids should provide something more like a paltry 10 to 15 meteors per hour, according to NASA, but the good news is that they are among the fastest meteors around, known for producing dramatic fireballs and earthgrazer meteors of their own. The Leonids are active for much of each November, when the Earth passes through debris left behind by the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle.

To see the Leonids, you don't have to worry about finding the constellation Leo, as they will be visible across the sky. If you have clear skies this week bundle up and head outside around midnight as far away from light pollution as possible. (After midnight should be a good time most places in the world. The key thing is for the moon not to be out.) Allow your eyes to adjust and relax, meteors should be visible until dawn.

If your skies are overcast or you live under a streetlight, you can always watch the shower live via the online Slooh observatory.

If you happen to catch any great photos of the show, please tweet them @Crave and @EricCMack.

Dazzling shots of the 2015 Perseid meteor shower (pictures)

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