A swarm of fireballs from the Taurid meteor shower has already made November a fiery month for meteors. The arrival of the Leonids brings the prospect of an all-out meteor storm subsequent week. 

Whereas the Taurids are recognized for touring comparatively slowly as they fritter away within the ambiance and producing plenty of fireballs (particularly this yr), the Leonids are thought of a swift bathe, producing quick, vibrant capturing stars. 

A couple of instances every century, the Leonids ship an absolute frenzy of fireplace within the sky, with lots of and even 1000’s of capturing stars seen per hour. 

The trigger is bits of mud, particles and detritus from Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Every year round this time our planet drifts via clouds of comet droppings left behind throughout earlier journeys via the photo voltaic system. And about each 33 years we appear to hit a very dense pocket of matter, leading to such a storm. This occurred most lately in 2001, which was a little bit of a bonus because it got here simply two years after an anticipated storm in 1999. 

Whereas the following Leonid meteor storm from that department of particles is not anticipated till 2031, this stuff are unpredictable. In response to the American Meteor Society, there’s a probability we’ll encounter a special mud discipline in 2022 linked to the comet’s 1733 go to. This might produce anyplace between 50 and greater than 200 meteors per hour within the waning hours of Nov. 18 into the next morning. 

Once more, there are not any ensures for any of this as meteor showers are exceedingly fickle. However the most effective case state of affairs might current a couple of excellent nights of sky-watching. The common peak of the Leonids is anticipated within the late night hours of Nov. 17 into the pre-dawn the next morning. Anticipate 10 to 15 meteors per hour beneath superb viewing circumstances. The next evening is once we would possibly get an outburst that sees these numbers enhance by an order of magnitude, if we’re fortunate. 

To expertise the spectacle, you may wish to discover an space with a broad view of a cloudless sky and no mild air pollution. You’ll find the constellation Leo utilizing an app like Stellarium and orient your self so Leo’s head is within the middle of your discipline of view. Leonid meteors will seem to radiate out from this level within the sky, therefore the title. 

It isn’t crucial you orient your self this fashion, because the meteors can be traversing all around the sky, nevertheless it would possibly improve issues. It is most likely a bit extra necessary to maintain the waning moon out of your discipline of view in order that it would not wash out any capturing stars. 

When you’re oriented and comfy, simply lay again and calm down. After your eyes are adjusted, you need to be in your method to seeing a minimum of a couple of meteors when you give the entire expertise a full hour or longer.

Better of luck and joyful recognizing!



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