Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week: Viewing Tips

Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week: Viewing Tips

Leonid_NASA_2000The sky show from space this week is the Leonid Meteor Shower. The benefit of a clear sky and above average temperatures makes this annual event more opportunistic than a normal year when it can be too chilly for many to venture out. But the other sky show this week is the storm complex crossing the nation, and building clouds ahead of it could conflict with the peak. So if you want to get your space fix, you might want to try Tuesday morning as clouds could be an issue when our best viewing should be Wednesday morning.

 

Keep in mind:

This event may be better suited for early risers. The best times to view this are between midnight and daybreak. But the wee hours of the morning will be the top time slot.

Best viewing is in rural areas. Get away from urban lights.

Adjusting time: You eyes need time to adjust to the darkness to see the most faint meteors or ‘shooting stars’. Giving yourself 10 minutes is standard, but up to 45 minutes in the dark will allow your eyes to be best. Considering that this is

 

What is this?

Debris from the Tempel-Tuttle comet is lingering in space. It has an orbit around the sun every 33 years. The last pass was 1998. The next time will be 2031. In mid November every year, our planet passes through the left over particles that range from the size of a grain of salt to a pea. Occasionally something larger can make for an amazing light display as it burns up in our atmosphere, but there is little to no risk of anything reaching Earth’s surface.

The name Leonids is based on the origin of the meteors around the constellation Leo.

Viewing

Best Days:

Tuesday November 17 and Wednesday November 18

 

Time And Location:

Early Morning Best but after midnight there may be a few to view.

 

Midnight:  Look almost directly up.

3 AM to 6 AM: Look between ¼ to ¾ up while facing west.

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November 16th, 2015|Tags: , , , , , , |