Monday, November 15, 2010

This week's meteor shower: The Leonids

The Leonids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. They get their name from the constellation Leo from which they appear to radiate. The annual meteor shower is extremely regular in its timing and can potentially be visible for days. This year's Leonids meteor shower peaks on November 17/18 in which maximum intensity can be as much as 100 "falling stars" per hour.

As the days get colder and shorter, the return of the Leonid meteor shower grows closer as well. The annual shower lasts from November 10 through the 23rd and peaks before dawn November 17. Unfortunately, Full Moon arrives November 21, so its light will interfere with meteor watching until after midnight.

While it can't compete with last year's spectacular display, this year's show still promises excitement. “Observers under a dark sky can expect to see around 20 meteors per hour radiating from the constellation Leo the Lion,” says Astronomy Senior Editor Richard Talcott. “The best time to watch on the 17th comes once the Moon sets around 3 a.m. local time.”

For More

No comments:

Post a Comment