Monday, November 16, 2020

Leonid meteor shower to peak this week

Leonid meteor shower to peak early this week. (Photo: NASA/Ames Research Center/ISAS/Shinsuke Abe and Hajime Yano)

Now's the time to watch the Leonid meteor shower, which will peak early in the week.

The Leonids are expected to peak on Nov. 16 and 17, according to CNN. If you're planning on watching the meteor shower this week, be sure to look for long, fast meteors which include bright fireballs and earth grazers that fly close to the horizon with their long, colorful trails.

According to NASA, The Leonids peak every year in mid-November and are considered to be a major meteor shower despite meteor rates as low as 15 per hour. The Leonids are bright, colorful, and fast: the meteors travel at a speed of 44 miles per second.

Leonid storms, in which observers on Earth are able to see thousands of these meteors rain down, occur every 33 years. The last Leonid storm happened in 2002.

NASA also provided the following tips for anyone interesting in watching the meteor shower this year:

The Leonids are best viewed starting at about midnight local time. Find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared for winter temperatures with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Orient yourself with your feet towards east, lie flat on your back, and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient -- the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse."

NASA has a handy guide for photographing meteor showers for anyone interested in taking photos of the Leonids or other meteor showers. 


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