Leonids

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The Leonids are a prolific meteor shower viewable every year around November 17.

The Leonids are a meteor stream associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The meteor stream is thought to be comprised of particles ejected by the comet as it passes by the sun. When the earth moves through the meteor stream, a meteor shower can be witnessed.

The Leonids are famous because their meteor showers, or storms, can be among the most spectacular. They seem to follow a 33 year cycle, associated with the 33 year orbit of Tempel-Tuttle. Storms in peak years can feature thousands of meteors per hour. Notable events were observed in 1799, 1833, 1866, and 1966. The storms in 2001 and 2002 are expected to be spectacular as well.


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