In 1966, thousands of meteors exploded from the sky and illuminated the sky for a brief period of 15 minutes – witnesses say the shooting stars are almost like rain, in what numbers. This is not a typical meteor shower, but an all-out meteor storm, a phenomenon that has occurred as part of the Leonid meteor shower for centuries.
Although this year’s meteor showers are expected to produce much fewer meteors – dazzling storms that only happen every 33 years or so – you can still gaze into the sky to witness the stars. meteors in mid-month. Here’s everything you need to know.
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What is the Leonid meteor shower?
The Leonid meteor shower is an astronomical event in mid-November that occurs when Earth passes through dust spilled from Tempel-Tuttle comet – it is named after its radiation point, or the point at which meteors appear to As rooted in the sky, falling into the constellation Leo.
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In a normal year, including 2020, a meteor shower produces about 15 meteors per hour, which is considered a fairly moderate performance. But the Leonids are most famous for their unusual meteor storms, occurring about every 33 years (what happens is how long it takes a comet to orbit the sun). During those events, thousands and thousands of meteors passed through the sky like rain, but only for a short period of 15 minutes. The most recent meteor storm was in 2002, so we have a little bit of time before the next big show.
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When does Leonid meteor shower take place?
Leonids occur annually, between November 6 and November 30. This year, the climax (when you can expect to see the most meteors) will hit late on November 16 and early in the morning. November 17th. The great news is that the moon will only be a small crescent, which means there will be very little light pollution in the sky, enhancing the observation conditions.
How can I see the Leonid meteor shower?
As with all meteor showers, all you have to do is look up. That said, you’ll want to stay as far away from light pollution as possible, so head to remote wilderness if possible. When you arrive, let your eyes adjust to the dark for 20 minutes or so, then get ready to join the show. You will be able to see shooting stars all over the sky, not just in the direction of the constellation Leo (the Leonids shine point), so keep an eye out for your eyes.
When is the next meteor shower?
Can’t catch the Leonids? You won’t have to wait long for the next show. The Geminid meteor shower will peak on the night of December 13 and dawn on December 14th. Also, this is one of the most prolific meteor showers of the year, so you won’t want to miss it.