AccuWeather: Prime Viewing Conditions in Northeast for Leonid Meteor Shower, Comet ISON

accuweather-meteor 111513The best locations for viewing the Leonid Meteor Shower in the United States will be in the Northeast and across the Southwest, Nov. 16-18.’s Jillian MacMath reports the Leonid meteor shower, which began in early November, will peak Nov. 16-18, 2013, though it may be tough to see due to another celestial display.

As the shower hits its peak this weekend, the moon will near its full phase, making the sky particularly bright.

“This will be a major obstacle to viewing this sometimes brilliant meteor shower,” Astronomy Expert Mark Paquette said.

Despite the moonlight, the meteors will pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest numbers just before dawn on the 17th and 18th.

The best locations for viewing the show in the United States will be in the Northeast and across the Southwest.

Likewise, comet ISON will be more visible than usual this weekend, especially on Nov. 17.

This comet is new to our solar system and has undergone significant brightening in the last few days making it visible to the naked eye, MacMath reports.

However, despite its visibility now, it will near the sun next and it could be destroyed, according to Paquette. If the comet survives, it could again be visible as it moves away from the sun in the weeks after Thanksgiving.

Due its potential destruction, the ideal time to view this comet is this weekend.

It can be seen near the constellation Virgo just before dawn on Nov. 17. The brighter conditions of the comet will not yet make it visible to the naked eye, but it can be seen with a telescope or binoculars.

On November 17 and 18, it will pass by the star Spica, improving its viewing conditions for areas with clear skies.

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