Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks Last Night!!

17 11 2009

An 1833 depiction of the Leonid Meteor Shower.

Thousands of you are coming here for information on the shower, but I don’t have a post up about today’s event! So here it is!

The Leonid Meteor shower occurs every year when Earth passes through the cloud of debris left behind by the passage of the comet Temple-Tuttle. Specks of dust are rapidly heated upon contact with our atmosphere and glow spectacularly for a brief moment. If you want to catch a glimpse of our brush with this cometary dust cloud, tonight is a good night. Last night was technically the peak, but since the cloud of dust is fairly large, Leonid meteors should be visible tonight and tomorrow as well. Some folks have reported some brilliant displays, so if you’re awake you may as well take a look. In any case if you decide to check out the event, just find a nice spot with a good view of as much of the sky as possible. Make sure it’s dark and free from light pollution. Then relax on your back and enjoy the show! Oh – some additional viewing tips from someone who knows his stuff:

It’s more important to orient looking away from sources of light pollution – especially the moon if it’s up. If possible, orient so these light sources are blocked from your visual field by objects in your surroundings. This will encourage your pupils to open a bit wider, and allow seeing fainter meteors. Orient toward the holes in the clouds, if any. Orient so that the place where you are lying is comfortable. Aaahhh!

Have fun and dress warm!!






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