Home / Science / Leonid Meteor shower to light up the sky this weekend

Leonid Meteor shower to light up the sky this weekend




  A Leonid meteor storm lights up the sky over Azra, east of Amman, Jordan on November 18, 1999. (Credit: Jamal Nasrallah / AFP via Getty Images)

A Leonid meteor storm fires the sky over Azra desert east of Amman, Jordan on November 18, 1999. (Credit: Jamal Nasrallah / AFP via Getty Images)

During the early morning hours of Monday, Leonid meteor shower sends shooting stars across the sky. Watch out on Saturday and Sunday evenings to see bright meteors with trains flowing behind them.

However, the meteors may be more difficult to see due to the bright moon in the Waning Gibbous phase shortly after the full moon of the week.

The diminutive comet Tempel-Tuttle will cross the Earth's orbit and create a vaporizing shower of debris in the atmosphere. The comet takes 33 years to complete a solar orbit.

There are usually between 10 and 15 meteors per hour. Check online to see when it will appear in your part of the world.

  A Leonid meteor that streaks through the sky. (Credit: NASA / New Mexico State University.)

A Leonid meteor that streaks through the sky. (Credit: NASA / New Mexico State University.)

The meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Leo, the lion, because the meteors come from the stars that make up the lion's man. But you do not have to look in the direction of the constellation, because the meteors will look across the sky.

The bright meteors can also be colorful, and they are fast and moving at 44 miles per second – among them the fastest meteors. Fireballs and "earthgrazer" meteors are also a feature of the Leonid shower. Fireballs are lighter and larger and can last longer than the average meteor, while earth gases are visible near the horizon with long, colorful tails.

Unfortunately, this year's shower will not produce a meteor storm, which is when you can see upwards of 1,000 meteors per hour. Although such an event has been associated with Leonid meteor showers before, the last storm happened in 2001.

The best time to see the meteor showers is between midnight and dawn on both mornings, wherever you are in the world. If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a location without city lights to obstruct your view.

Find an open area with one in the sky and don't forget to bundle up. To photograph Leonid meteor shower, NASA suggests using a camera with manual focus on a tripod with a shutter cable or built-in timer, equipped with wide-angle lens.


Source link