Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks Wednesday

Nov 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: Video: Alleged meteor caught on Russian dash cam (again)

More information: stardate.org/magazine

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Orionid meteor shower peaks Wednesday

Oct 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

Aug 07, 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 ...

The 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower

Nov 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 ...

STAR TRAK for November: Mars is prominent again

Nov 02, 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 ...

Recommended for you

How commercial spaceflight makes a profit

1 hour ago

There's a big difference in thinking between governments and the private companies that participate in space. While entities such as NASA can work on understanding basic human health or exploring the universe ...

The case for a mission to Mars' moon Phobos

1 hour ago

Ask any space enthusiast, and almost anyone will say humankind's ultimate destination is Mars. But NASA is currently gearing up to go to an asteroid. While the space agency says its Asteroid Initiative will ...

Europe sat-nav launch glitch linked to frozen pipe

20 hours ago

A frozen fuel pipe in the upper stage of a Soyuz launcher likely caused the failure last month to place two European navigation satellites in orbit, a source close to the inquiry said Wednesday.

Cyanide ice in Titan's atmosphere

22 hours ago

Gigantic polar clouds of hydrogen cyanide roughly four times the area of the UK are part of the impressive atmospheric diversity of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, a new study led by Leiden Observatory, ...

User comments : 2

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.