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The Leonids and Taurids will send shooting stars across the night skies this weekend.

Raisa Bruner
November 11, 2016

This weekend, keep your eyes trained to the night skies for displays from the Taurid and Leonid meteor showers. The Taurid fireworks, caused by the passage of a comet known as “2P/Encke,” will produce over five meteors each hour during the evening of Saturday, Nov. 12, peaking around midnight; the fragments from this comet are larger than normal, so the fireballs tend to be more dramatic.

The Leonids, meanwhile, are an ongoing event that will reach peak vibrancy at around dawn on the morning of Nov. 17 and continue through the beginning of December. Those falling stars are left-behind material of another, different comet.

Unfortunately, the concurrent rise of an exceptionally bright supermoon means that this month does not provide prime viewing for the showers. In fact, this supermoon—called the "Beaver Moon"—will actually be the brightest in 70 years, as it will be the closest it's been to Earth since 1948 on Monday, Nov. 14. It won't get this close again for another eight years, either. Its shine might wash out some of the meteor viewing.

But then again, you'll have the moon to look at.

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