The Leonid meteor shower peaks tonight (Nov. 17), but bright moonlight is threatening to wash out this year's light display.

The annual Leonid meteor shower is expected to reach peak activity tonight at approximately 10:40 p.m. EST (0340 GMT on Nov. 18), but a luminous third quarter moon could outshine even the brightest meteors, said Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

"The moon is going to be a major interference, but we could see a rate of about 20 per hour," Cooke told