The Leonids are among one of a kind events, and they will be seen this month, as always. But this year, we could get even more: shooting star activity.
The Leonid meteor shower happens every year when Earth passes through a cloud of junk that was left behind by the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. This shower is active in November, but it becomes visible only at a certain point. The moon is set to be about 80% full, which would make it difficult for us to see the 15 meteors per hour, which are predicted to make their appearance.
What are the Leonids?
We are talking about shooting stars, which are typically moving at 44 miles per second – that’s 71 km/sec – which makes them bright, and even colorful in the night sky.
Every 33 years, the Leonids make a meteor storm, and when the Earth passes through the dense junk, it results in 1000 meteors per hour.
The effect is showing the meteors as rain. We won’t see this kind of storm in 2019, according to Russian astronomer Mikhail Maslov, who predicted possible “activity enhancements wide-open As per his calculations, the hourly rate can get to 20 to 27 meters between twilight and midnight.
To see the Leonids, you need to go as far from the city lights as you can, and it might be best to find a spot with a wide-open view of the night sky. Make sure you’re comfortable enough and just watch the sky. If you miss them, don’t worry, there’s another meteor event coming up next week – there’s a possibility that the obscure Alpha Monocerotids create a meteor storm on Thursday.