Leonid Meteor Shower a Cosmic Light Show

Seven-time Grammy winner Gladys Knight
CBS/The Early Show
Star gazers are in paradise.

The Leonid meteor shower reached peak activity over North America in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday but the cosmic light show will continue until Nov. 21, giving dedicated observers or more casual fans the chance to catch a glimpse.

The greatest activity can be seen in Asia - nearly 200 to 300 per hour, Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office told America was expected to see 20 to 30 per hour by comparison.

The meteor shower occurs as the Earth slams into remnants of the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which, according to, passes through the inner solar system every 33 years. The comet's debris, mostly of ice and rocks the size of a grain of sand, is slamming into the Earth's atmosphere at around 160,000 miles per hour, creating a multi-colored light show for skywatchers.

Experts suggest rural areas, away from city or town lights, is optimal for viewing the phenomena. The meteor shower can be seen in the northern hemisphere.