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2 meteor showers could light up night sky this week

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The Leonids meteor shower provided an exciting eastern sky over Monpelier and Barre, Vermont on Sunday morning, Nov. 18, 2001, in Fayston, Vt. The Leonids are minute dust particles shed by Comet Tempel-Tuttle. The meteors are called Leonids because they appear to come from the direction of the constellation Leo the Lion. (AP photo/Mike Riddell)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Meteor showers happen throughout much of the year but two in particular will be at their highest activity this week.

The peak of the Leonid Meteor shower was Saturday night but clouds got in the way of any possible sightings. However, if you’re willing to try again, Sunday night and early Monday morning will have rates up to 15 meteors per hour.

The moon, unfortunately, will be bright again tonight and may wash out some of the faint meteors. However, if you got out late enough, the moon will be low in the sky allowing for the faint meteors to be seen.

The Leonids are debris from the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle.

Grab the jackets and cup of hot cocoa if you head out, as temperatures will be dropping into the 50s. Skies will be partly cloudy.

This upcoming week, a lesser known meter shower is expected to peak. The alpha Monocerotids typically do not even register as a weak meteor shower each year but this year may be different.

According to an article by Esko Lyytinen and Peter Jenniskens, this shower could produce a brief burst of up to 400 meteors. This would happen in a very short window of time from 15 minutes up to 40 minutes.

The authors encourage anyone who is going to attempt to view this potential meteor storm should “not be late at all”.

This event is forecast to occur on the night of November 21st, this upcoming Thursday after 11:15 p.m. According to the article, a short outburst is “likely” this year due to earth passing through a very narrow but dense debris trail from an unknown comet.

As of Sunday, the weather forecast for Thursday night looks decent with a few clouds and no rain.

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