With all the spectacular “shooting stars” hitting the earth, the mid-November will streak through the night sky as the Leonid meteor shower hits Earth once again and here are all the details you need for Leonid meteor shower 2018.
What causes Leonid?
As Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle every year Around November 17 or 18, a wonderful Leonid meteor shower happens, which was first discovered back in 1866. Every November, it gives a chance to the observers to see up to 15 meteors streak across the sky each hour. It’s caused by small rocks and debris entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Till now up to 13 tonnes of dust and rock particles have been deposited in the Earth’s atmosphere during the course of the meteor shower.
When and where to see?
The best chance of seeing the meteors will be to find a spot away from areas of heavy light pollution. Unlike other meteor showers, you don’t need a telescope or any expensive equipment to enjoy them. However, if you’ve got a camera set up, you can get some spectacular shots. This year the peak night of the shower is expected from midnight to dawn on mornings of November 17 and 18. There is no moon to intrude on the Leonid meteor shower this year. This shower is known for its periodic storms but no Leonid storm is expected this year. The hourly rate of 10 to 20 meteors is expected according to Sky and Telescope.
Last year, the visibility was poor because bright light from the waning gibbous moon outshone some of the meteors. However, this year, the visibility will be excellent because the new moon will take place on Nov. 18, providing a perfect view of the meteors, which will not be washed out by any lunar light. The meteor shower might be a bit easier to see from the Northern Hemisphere, sky watchers in the Southern Hemisphere should be able to see the show as well. “They’re not quite as good, but almost as good. The Leonids are an OK shower from the Southern Hemisphere,” said Cooke.
How many meteors?
It all depends on when you watch and the clarity and darkness of your night sky. The Leonid is a modest shower, with typical rates of about 10 to 15 meteors per hour at the peak. As many as 50,000 meteors per hour can fall as part of the shower according to the previous years’ record. But it’s more likely to be around 15 each hour. Thus, it’s important to get a good viewing spot so you don’t miss any.