Every year in mid-November, magical meteors from the Leonid meteor shower light up Earth’s night sky. Historically, the Leonids have been recorded as the largest “meteor storm”, ever reaching a rate of 50,000 meteors observed per hour.
Such meteor storms are very rare. According to Sky and Telescope magazine, viewers this year can only expect around 10 to 20 meteors per hour on the night of November 17 to early November 18.
MEMORYRUN LEONIDS INFORMATION
Operating time: 6/11-30/11 every year
This year’s peak: 17/11/2017
Origin: Comet Tempel Tuttle
From the constellation: Leo (Leo)
Frequency: 10-20 meteors/hour
WHERE DO THE LEONIDS MEET THE RAIN FROM?
The Leonid meteor shower occurs every November when Earth passes through the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle. This comet orbits the Sun every 33.3 years, leaving behind countless dust particles and tiny meteorite fragments.
Once Earth passes through this dusty path, countless fragments of dust and rock rush into Earth’s atmosphere. Air resistance in the atmosphere causes them to heat up and burn into bright meteors.
Due to their very small size, usually the size of a grain of sand or a pea, most burn up before reaching the Earth’s surface.
TIME AND PLACE OF OBSERVATIONS
The Leonid meteor shower peaks on the night of November 17 and early in the morning of November 18, however, some meteor trails can still be seen a few days before or after the peak. The moon only appears for a moment at dusk, so the whole night of observation will not be obstructed by moonlight.