Leonid Meteor shower Saturday night

James Marshall
November 17, 2018

A meteor shower weekend is coming up and with high pressure nearby there will be a lot of fine, dry and calm weather about.

The diminutive Comet Tempel-Tuttle will cross Earth's orbit, creating a vaporizing shower of debris in the atmosphere.

If you want to courageous the cold, both mornings on Saturday and Sunday bring prime time to see the Leonids Meteor Shower.

A full moon won't occur until the 23rd so the over a quarter waxing gibbous moon could be better and worse and it will set in the small hours of Sunday morning. This comet returns to the inner solar system every 33 years. The high speeds mean they produce a greater percentage of fireballs - meteors at least as bright as the brilliant planet Venus - than most showers.

Leonid meteors appear to radiate from a point in the constellation Leo the Lion (hence the shower's name).

On average, with good conditions, you should be able to see between 10 to 15 meteors per hour during the peak hours.

According to NASA the Leonid Meteors, which travel at 41 miles per second are considered some of the fastest, and they are also some of the brightest and most colorful. Be sure to check online to see when it will be visible in your part of the world.

In 1966, the Leonid shower was actually a meteor storm.

As is the case with most celestial events, catching a meteor shower is a waiting game. If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a place that isn't littered with city lights that will obstruct your view.

The experts at NASA suggest, "Orienting yourself with your feet towards the east, lie flat on your back, and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible".

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