Full moon to dim Leonid meteor shower

Nov. 16, 2013 at 12:25 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A full moon will compete with the Leonid meteor shower this weekend, so the annual sky show will not be as spectacular as it might be, astronomers say.

The Leonid shower's peak is at about 5 a.m. EST Sunday, USA Today reported, citing EarthSky magazine. But dimmer meteors will be washed out by the light of the Beaver Moon, as the November full moon is known.

"This will be a major obstacle to viewing this sometimes-brilliant meteor shower," Mark Paquette of AccuWeather said.

Meteor showers actually occur when Earth passes through clouds of dust left by comets with tiny particles burning up in the atmosphere. The Leonid shower gets its name because the meteors appear to come from the constellation Leo the Lion.

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