This night, everyone should look to the skies for a shower of meteors. The dazzling spectacle is expected to last until the first rays of sunlight. This is a perfect opportunity for cosmos lovers to have a better view than before, since the crescent moon will not be too shiny as to steal the show.
The Leonids are one of the fastest type of meteor, reaching a nauseous 158,000 miles per hour and NASA declared that we can expect to see at least one of them every four minutes during the shower.
How does this phenomenon happen? When a comet enters our planet’s atmosphere, it vaporizes into meteors and thus becomes a shower. The larger pieces often light up into fireballs which have a resemblance to fireworks. The comet in question is Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Leonids got their name from the Leo constellation, since it’s the place where they seem to come from.
Being quite diverse, the meteors will look multicolored to the human eye on Earth. This happens then they enter the atmosphere and start burning, which makes them look red, purple or green. From time to time, that is around every 33 years, the Leonids become a storm of thousands of meteors. Compared to this, the greatest meteor showers like the Geminids or the Perseids seem like little children.
The perfect circumstances for watching the beautiful phenomenon are around midnight, after the moon sets, while the best times are at 3 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Don’t know where to look on the sky? Search for the Leo constellation.
The time the most active Leonids shower was recorded was on November 12 and 13 in 1833. At the time, they were the subject of many speculations and hypotheses. The last significant shower has taken place in 1999. However, unexpected showers also appeared at the beginning of the 2000s.
When will we be able to see them again? The next Leonid meteor shower is set for 2032, but we can also expect some surprises even earlier, as seen in the previous years. The next and last meteor shower that can be observed this year is the Geminid meteor shower, also quite spectacular. It is expected to offer a glittering show under the good conditions of the moon phase.
If you wish to witness one of the most spectacular shows of space without actually being in danger, look to the skies for a shower of meteors tonight.
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