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Comet ISON could spawn meteor shower tonight

Comet ISON.

For the past year and a half, both astronomy enthusiasts and the general public went abuzz over Comet ISON thanks to a prediction by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that the comet could become as bright as the Full Moon. Unfortunately, Comet ISON didn't survive its close encounter with the Sun on Thanksgiving Day.

However, there may be one last hurrah from the comet.

See also: NASA Video

As Comet ISON sped in towards Earth, scientists estimated that it shed about 100,000 pounds of debris per minute, leaving a massive trail of debris along its inbound path. The interesting thing to consider: Earth will pass through the Comet's inbound path this week which, according to some, could spawn a meteor shower.

So, how likely is this to happen? Short answer: no one knows.

What is known is this: Earth will pass through the deepest concentration of debris from the comet tonight and early tomorrow morning. What makes the possible 'ISON-id' shower even more difficult to predict is that it is a new shower. For the record, predicting known meteor shower intensities is hard enough.

Still, you can't see anything if you don't go out and look. As for where to look, the shower (if it happens) will radiate from the constellation of Leo, specifically The Sickle.

Planning to do some sky watching in the Cleveland area? Well be sure to keep an eye on the Cleveland weather forecast and, for hour-by-hour cloud predictions, the Cleveland Clear Sky Clock as the close approach date nears. Live somewhere else?Find a clock and see if it will be clear near you.

For more info:
Universe Today

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