Be positive to maintain a watch to the sky this weekend: The peak of the Leonid meteor bathe— an annual mid-November deal with — might be seen throughout the night time sky late Friday night time and early Saturday morning.
The Leonids look like coming from the constellation Leo the Lion (therefore their identify) within the east, however they need to be seen all the best way throughout the sky.
Some of the best meteor showers ever seen have been the Leonids. Some years, they have been a full-fledged meteor storm: The 1833 Leonid meteor storm included charges as excessive as a tremendous 100,000 meteors per hour, Earthsky.org mentioned.
No such storm is forecast this yr, although: Viewers ought to see an hourly charge of some 10 to 20 meteors.
Also referred to as “shooting stars,” the meteors are literally leftover comet mud. They’re tiny pea- and sand-sized bits of mud and particles crumbling off the Tempel-Tuttle comet because it swings by the Earth. (Earth’s orbit takes it straight by means of the particles path.) The mud and particles ignite when it hits our environment.
As with most meteor showers, one of the best time to observe the Leonids is normally between the hours of midnight and daybreak, based on Earthsky.org.
David Samuhel, a meteorologist and astronomy blogger at AccuWeather, mentioned folks ought to dedicate no less than an hour to viewing the meteor bathe. “Do not look at any light source during that hour like a phone, flashlight, or any type of screen,” he mentioned. “Your eyes will step by step alter by a half hour, then you should have excellent night time imaginative and prescient. You additionally need to lay as flat as potential so you may see as a lot of the sky as potential.”
The keys to good views of the bathe are the part of the moon and the climate.
First, there’s excellent news concerning the moon: This yr, visibility might be glorious as a result of the brand new moon will happen Nov. 18, offering an ideal view of the meteors, which is not going to be washed out by any lunar gentle, Space.com mentioned.
As for the climate Friday night time and early Saturday morning, it is a combined bag. The greatest viewing situations needs to be within the Southwest, the Rockies and alongside the Southeast coast, AccuWeather mentioned.
But of us within the Midwest and Northeast will not be so fortunate: “A large storm system will be moving from the Plains into the Great Lakes, and cloudy skies are forecast to dominate much of the eastern half of the nation,” mentioned AccuWeather meteorologist Kyle Elliot. “Rain and thunderstorms will put an even bigger damper on viewing conditions in many of these areas.”
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