Best ways to watch this weekend's meteor shower

12:43 AM, Nov 16, 2013   |    comments
A bright Perseid Meteor cuts across Orion's Belt at five a.m. Tuesday morning during the peak of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 12, 1997, in Joshua Tree National Park, fifty miles north of Palm Springs, Calif. (Photo: Wally Pacholka, AP)
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  • So you're thinking about watching this weekend's meteor shower, but you'd like to know more about what you're seeing? First, a few basics:

    • What are they: Commonly called shooting stars, a meteor is a space rock that usually vaporizes as it enters the Earth's atmosphere. Most are so small that they never reach the Earth's surface. 
    • 158,440 mph: Speed of meteor when it hits Earth's atmosphere
    • 3,000 degrees: Fahrenheit: How hot a meteor gets, according to
    • 82 feet wide: Maximum size of meteor that will burn up upon entering Earth's atmosphere. The majority of visible meteors range in size from a grain of sand to a small pebble, according to NASA and the American Meteor Society.


    While this weekend's meteor shower will be visible across the country, weather conditions in the Northeast and Southwest will give residents in those regions the best view of Leonid.

    Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend
    • Find a place far from city lights. Consider going to a local park or nature reserve.
    • Don't use a telescope or binoculars. They will only limit your view of the sky.
    • Take a nap during the day. You'll have to stay up past midnight to see the brightest showers.
    • Helpful apps to show you what's in the sky:

    Meteor Shower Guide (allows you to send meteor data to NASA researchers)

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