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Leonids meteor show awaits stargazers Saturday night

November 17, 2012 1:45pm
Barring cloudy weather, stargazers can expect a treat from the skies with the Leonids meteor shower from Saturday night until early Sunday, state astronomers said.

PAGASA said the Leonids is one of the most prolific meteor showers, though it has not been as prolific as in past years.

"Unlike the previous years where it produced hundreds of meteors, astronomers and experts do not predict many meteors this year. A zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) of about 10 meteors might occur in the late hours of November 17 until dawn of the following day," PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando said.

The Leonids meteor shower stems from debris left behind by comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle as it passed through the inner solar system.

Earlier, EarthSky.org said the Leonids around the turn of the century did not match the shower of 1966, and has "whimpered" rather than roared.

It said the Leonids had recently produced a maximum of 10 to 15 meteors per hour.

"Like most meteor showers, the Leonids ordinarily pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest meteor numbers just before dawn. In 2012, however, the waxing crescent moon will set at early evening, leaving a dark night for Leonid meteor shower," it said. — LBG, GMA News
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