The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

The Leonids Are Here

Just a quick reminder that the Leonid meteor shower peak is coming up.  The next two mornings (November 17th and 18th) are the best times to look.  Unfortunately, the Moon is waxing gibbous and does not set until pretty late.  Therefore, your best bet is to get a good night sleep and getup after the Moon sets (about 2:13am local time in Tucson…check your local listings for Moonset in your area).

The meteors appear to come from the constellation of Leo.  However, don’t look only at Leo!  Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky (although if you trace their paths backward, you end up somewhere in Leo).  You don’t need a telescope or binoculars, just scan the sky with your eyes from as dark of a location as you can reasonably find.  The Leonids are a decent 20 or so meteor per hour shower.  No big forecasts of meteor storms this year.

However, you never know what you are going to see so you should always look.  Last year, I was fortunate to see the Great Western Fireball during the Leonids.  This fireball was probably not a Leonid, but a random meteor that happened to hit at the same time.  It’s always worth taking a look (although be sure to dress warm if you are in the north!)

November 16, 2010 - Posted by | Meteor shower

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