Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks: How to See Shooting Stars | Science | news


Monday, November 16 will see the peak of the Leonid meteor shower. During the early morning of November 16 and November 17, an average of 15 shooting stars will fly into the sky every hour.

Leonids are one of the most prolific showers of the year as fast and bright shooting stars will be seen in the hours between midnight and sunrise.

The Leonids are the result of Earth’s journey through the debris left behind by the comet Tempel-Tuttle.

Tiny grains of ice that have been left in the comet’s wake collide with Earth’s atmosphere, giving the appearance of shooting stars.

US space agency NASA said: “As comets approach the sun, the dust they emit gradually spreads in a dusty trail around their orbits.

“Every year the Earth passes through these tracks of debris, which allows the fragments to collide with our atmosphere where they disintegrate to create fiery and colorful streaks in the sky.”

According to astronomers, to locate the meteors, it is enough to look for the star constellation of Leo in the night sky, from which the Leonids are named.

Spectators will have to have eagle eyes though, as Leonids whiz through the skies at 158,400 mph (254,920 km / h), the fastest meteor shower known.

When looking for the best place to see the meteor shower, you need to take into account the amount of light present.

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“However, if you miss the peak, the shower continues at a reduced speed for several days on both sides, so there should be plenty of chance of seeing the display.

“For the best conditions, you need to find a safe place away from street lamps and other sources of light pollution.

“Meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky, so it’s nice to be in a large open space where you can scan the night sky with your own eyes.

“But if you trace the paths that the meteors take, they seem to come from the constellation of Leo.”

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