Astronomy: November Showers

Around the middle of every November, the earth is involved in a headlong collision; it plows full tilt into a stream of meteoroids that heat into shooting stars as they plunge through the upper atmosphere. Most years, hardly anyone notices. Only astronomers and dedicated amateurs take note of the few brief, blazing arcs that make up the "Leonid showers," named for the constellation Leo, which appears behind them in the sky. This week the celestial fireworks promise to be far more gaudy than usual. Instead of half a dozen or so meteors...

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