A Nearly Moonless Sky
Creates the Perfect Backdrop
for the Leonid Meteor Shower
November skies darken early and nights are colder--setting the stage for a potentially dazzling show. The Leonid Meteor Shower happens every year at this time, and though it isn't as impressive as the Perseids (occurring in August) or the Geminids (in December), conditions are favorable this year. Why?The moon will be a waxing crescent, setting in the evening hours, making for a dark and moonless late night.
The constellation Andromeda will be at her highest place overhead while the mighty hunter, Orion, rises in the east.
This week, the Earth will be in the maximum debris trail left by Comet Temple-Tuttle. Meteors will cascade through our atmosphere at a typical rate of 10-15 per hour and at a speed of up to 40 miles per second -- faster than a speeding bullet. These speeds generate enough friction to vaporize the tiny particles--making it nearly impossible for any of them to reach the Earth.
When should you watch? The best time is between midnight and dawn. The expected peak showings will be after midnight on November 17th and 18th.
[Source: Today I Found Out]
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