There's a spectacular meteor shower happening this week

The universe has given us some spectacular light shows this year, but prepare for another: The Leonid meteor shower will peak this week.

Those in the US can expect to see about 15 meteors per hour from late Tuesday night through dawn on Wednesday, November 18.

The crescent moon will set before midnight making the sky dark and perfect for meteor shower viewing, according to NASA.

Unfortunately, AccuWeather is predicting that half the US will be shrouded in storm clouds that will block the view. Check the map below to see if you’ll have a good view of the shower; it looks like the Southwest will get the best view:

The meteor shower will appear in the east in the constellation of Leo. If you want to catch a glimpse, it’s best to get somewhere dark and far away from city lights. If you live in one of the states with poor visibility, or a big city, then the Slooh observatory will be live streaming the shower starting at 8 pm EST on Tuesday, November 17.

The Leonid meteor shower happens every year when the Earth passes through the tail of debris behind the comet Tempel-Tuttle. As pieces of comet debris hit the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up and show up as streaks of light across the sky.

The Leonid meteor shower is one of the fastest we can see on Earth. The chunks of debris hit the atmosphere at about 44 miles per second, according to NASA.

Every 30 years or so the Leonids triggers a meteor storm where viewers can see thousands of meteors every hour. NASA predicts the next one will happen around 2032.

NOW WATCH: This is what you’re actually seeing when you watch a meteor shower

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

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