Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks Wednesday

November 12, 2010

The Leonid meteor shower best viewing this year will be in the two to three hours before dawn on Nov. 17 and 18, according to the editors of StarDate magazine.

There is always some uncertainty in the number of meteors the Leonid shower will produce, but viewers should expect to see at least 20 meteors per hour if they have clear skies. The nearly will set several hours before dawn, and therefore not wash out any meteors in the hours immediately before dawn.

High-resolution images and high-definition video animation of the are available online at StarDate's Media Center. There, you can also sign up to receive advance e-mail notices of future skywatching events.

Leonid meteors appear to fall from the constellation Leo, the lion, but they are not associated with it. They are leftover debris from comet Tempel-Tuttle. As the comet orbits the sun, it leaves a trail of debris. The Leonids meteors recur each year when Earth passes through the comet's debris trail.

Each time comet Tempel-Tuttle gets closest to the sun in its orbit, called perihelion, it sheds a significant amount of material. This creates clumps along its orbit. If Earth passes through one of these clumps this year, viewers could see hundreds of meteors per hour at the shower's peak. If Earth simply passes through the normal part of the comet's debris trail, the number of visible will be much lower.

For your best view, get away from city lights. Look for state or city parks or other safe, dark sites. Lie on a blanket or reclining chair to get a full-sky view. If you can see all of the stars in the Little Dipper, you have good dark-adapted vision.

Explore further: Leonid meteor shower peaks Tuesday, Nov. 17 (w/ Video)

More information: stardate.org/magazine

Related Stories

Orionid meteor shower peaks Wednesday

October 19, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The annual Orionid meteor shower will peak in the hours before dawn on Oct. 21, according to the editors of StarDate magazine, who said the shower could produce up to 20 meteors per hour.

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tuesday, Aug. 12

August 7, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- It's time once again for nature to put on its late-summer fireworks show: the Perseid meteor shower. This year's best viewing will be before dawn on Aug. 12, with a second chance after sunset that night, ...

The 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower

November 10, 2009

This year's Leonid meteor shower peaks on Tuesday, Nov. 17th. If forecasters are correct, the shower should produce a mild but pretty sprinkling of meteors over North America followed by a more intense outburst over Asia. ...

STAR TRAK for November: Mars is prominent again

November 2, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Pumpkin-colored Mars will return to prominence during November, rising shortly before midnight at the beginning of the month and more than two hours earlier by month's end. The orange planet will brighten ...

Recommended for you

Swiss firm acquires Mars One private project

December 2, 2016

A British-Dutch project aiming to send an unmanned mission to Mars by 2018 announced Friday that the shareholders of a Swiss financial services company have agreed a takeover bid.

Tangled threads weave through cosmic oddity

December 1, 2016

New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the intricate structure of the galaxy NGC 4696 in greater detail than ever before. The elliptical galaxy is a beautiful cosmic oddity with a bright core ...

Embryonic cluster galaxy immersed in giant cloud of cold gas

December 1, 2016

Astronomers studying a cluster of still-forming protogalaxies seen as they were more than 10 billion years ago have found that a giant galaxy in the center of the cluster is forming from a surprisingly-dense soup of molecular ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ThJ
not rated yet Nov 13, 2010
I live in Trinidad, will I see these meteor showers down here on the same day?
CarolinaScotsman
not rated yet Nov 13, 2010
I live in Trinidad, will I see these meteor showers down here on the same day?

Yes, the same date.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.