How to Watch the Leonids Meteor Shower This Week

Monday, 16 November 2015 - 12:50PM
Astronomy
Monday, 16 November 2015 - 12:50PM
How to Watch the Leonids Meteor Shower This Week
Every year, the Leonid meteor shower peaks in mid-November, showering the sky with meteors that appear to be coming from the Leo constellation.

The annual meteor shower occurs when the world passes through the orbit of the Comet Tempel-Tuttle. The debris from the comet's trail enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes, creating the spectacle that can be seen all over the sky.

This year, the shower will peak from midnight to sunrise on Wednesday, November 18th, but will also be visible on the morning of the 17th. It will be especially clear this year, as the waxing moon will set in the evening before the shower peaks.

In order to view the shower, you may need to get away from the city lights, but they should be visible anywhere that you can see the stars. There is no need to find the radiant point, or the point at which the meteors seem to be emitted from, as the Leonids will appear all over the sky. But if you would like to view this optical illusion, then you can look towards the east for the Leo constellation and its brightest star, Regulus, right near the planet Jupiter.

Usually, there are meteor storms associated with the Leonids, but not this year. Storms generally occur when there are at least 1,000 meteors per hour, while only 10-15 meteors per hour are predicted for 2015.
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Astronomy

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