The Leonid meteor shower has been underway since November 6 but is set to peak around November 17. The Leonids appear to be originating from the constellation Leo. Considered to be a major meteor shower, the Leonids are best seen from a dark location but the light from a waxing gibbous Moon may interfere. Usually, under perfectly dark conditions, in rural areas where the sky is mostly clear, 10-15 meteors can be seen within the period of an hour during peak Leonid shower.
But this year, that figure is likely to be in single digit. Leonids usually feature some of the fastest meteors, which can travel at speeds as high as 71kmps.
Leonid meteor shower: When, where to watch
According to EarthSky, the best time to observe the shower is just before dawn after the Moon has set. If you can, head out of town to a place where city lights won’t drown the stars and where it’s at its darkest so that you can get the best view of the shower.
Leonid meteor shower: Where to look
Meteors in annual showers get their names based on their origin, the point from which they appear to radiate. The Leonid meteors will appear in all parts of the sky.
The Leonid shower is known for producing meteor storms after a certain interval. But scientists don’t expect such an occurrence this year. A shower is called a storm when it sees more than 1,000 meteors per hour. The Leonids have been usually producing a storm every 33 years since 1833, but it is not definite.
Leonid meteor shower: Watching tips
According to NASA, to enjoy the celestial show of shooting stars you can do the following things:
- Go far from city light pollution and find a place that has a clear and unclouded view of the night sky.
- Be patient and watch for at least 30 minutes. Carry a reclining chair to make it more comfortable to gaze at the night sky.
- Cloth appropriately for cold night temperatures, which means carrying a jacket, gloves, and blankets.