|2017-11-17: Leonids Meteor Shower ⬅︎|
| Most people love meteor showers -- the streaks of light come and go so quickly. One never knows when or where the next one will appear. Meteors, also known as shooting stars, are just tiny pieces of rock and dust left behind by passing comets. When they collide with earth's atmosphere, their great speeds cause the flashes of light that we see as they burn up.
The Leonids, which peak each year around November 17th, are considered to be a major shower, even though meteor rates are often as low as about 15 meteors per hour. This is because they are known for their fireballs which are brighter, more colorful and larger explosions of light that can persist longer than an average meteor streak due to the larger particles of cometary material left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle.
Their radiant - the point in the sky from which the Leonids appear to come - is the constellation Leo, the lion, near the bright star Regulus. This is where the shower's name comes from.