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Will the Leonids Roar?

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Will the Leonids Roar?

Astronomers who specialize in forecasting meteor showers predict that 2012 will be a favorable year for the annual Leonid meteor shower, which can produce upwards of 20 to 30 meteors per hour under ideal conditions.

The Leonid meteor shower peaks each year around November 17th, bringing anywhere from a few shooting stars per hour to one every two to three minutes. Observers in the eastern United States are particularly well-situated, as maximum activity is expected to occur sometime between 3:30 and 5:30 a.m., Eastern Time, when the radiant — the point from which the meteors appear to originate — of the Leonid shower sits in the dark southeastern sky.

Fortunately for sky watchers, a waxing crescent Moon on the night of the 17th will leave the sky dark enough for good viewing.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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