Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Amazing Leonid Meteor Shower Photos Captured By Stargazers

Night sky photographer Mike Hankey of Freeland, Md., captured this dazzling Leonid meteor on Nov. 17, 2012, during the peak of the annual Leonid meteor shower.

 

The Leonid meteor shower peaked early Saturday (Nov. 17), and some night sky watchers caught a great view.

The Leonids are a yearly meteor display of shooting stars that appear to radiate out of the constellation Leo. They are created when Earth crosses the path of debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which swings through the inner solar system every 33 years.

This year, the Leonids are offering an especially good show because the moon is only in its crescent phase right now (so its light isn't too bright to wash out the meteors) and it sets in the west long before the constellation Leo begins to rise into the night sky. 

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