Image Credit: www.spacereference.com

The Leonids Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

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2 min read

The best time to observe a beautiful game of shooting stars The Leonids Meteor in the Leonid constellation occurs around 1 am GMT on Wednesday, 18 November 2020. The meteor radiant/Leonids constellation (the region of sky from which meteors appear to originate) rise after 12 am local time. If you are an insomniac or an Astro geek, you shouldn’t miss this annual opportunity to witness the Leonids meteor shower. Around 15-20 shooting stars per hour can be seen with naked eyes.

leo constellation
Source: www.timeanddate.com

The annual Leonid meteor shower results from comet debris along the orbit of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle which enters Earth’s atmosphere from 6 to 30 November. These debris pieces enter with a speed of 40-45 miles per sec (~250,000 kilometers per hour). With this tremendous speed, they burn up due to friction with air molecules in our atmosphere some 50 miles (80 kilometers) above the ground, leaving a short incandescent trail – a shooting star.

The Leonid shower is well known for these fast meteor, which can leave trails that appear for few seconds.

Constellation Leo will Rise in the east by 12am and Rise completely by 1 pm (as shown in the Stellarium screenshot below). The meteors appear around Leo in the vicinity of a 15-20° radius. So one can witness meteors as Leo Rises.

stellarium screenshot of leo constellation
Screenshot of Stellarium app

To witness this meteor shower,

1. Get yourself to a dark place high on the terrace, hilltop, or a water tank (with precautions) a little away from light pollution as city lights make tiny stars, shooting stars disappear into glowing dust.

2. Face towards the eastern sky. Look at an approximate angle of 25°. Let your eyes adapt to the darkness. And keep looking in the vicinity of 50° sky starting from the horizon.

3. As Leo Rises up, shift your focus area up around it. You can continue to watch this beautiful phenomenon best around 4 pm when Leo approaches zenith (90° up in the sky – overhead). You can continue to watch till dawn at 6 Am in the morning.

You can ask your friends to join you as spending so much time looking at the sky can be boring and you will need the patience to witness 20 meteors per hour i.e. a meteor per 5 minutes.

You and Your friends can target different regions of the sky and record the meteor passes. That is really fun when you share what you saw and if they made a wish ?

Note : Making Wish during when you see a shooting star is a fun part and is purely a misconception.

shooting-star-wishing-girl.

Well then Have fun 🙂 and don’t forget to comment what was your experience, if this article was helpful.


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