Leonid Meteors

LeonidThe Leonid meteor shower occurs every year between November 14th and 21st with the peak usually on the 19th. They are called the Leonids because they appear to radiate from the constellation of Leo. This shower has a history of occasionally producing spectacular displays called meteor storms. A few years ago I watched the Leonids and, for a short while, saw more meteors than I could count.

This shower is extremely variable so it’s hard to predict numbers, but there is always a chance of another intense shower. Also, this year the moon will not interfere with visibility of the fainter ones.

The peak will occur at approximately 10:45PM (CST) which is near the time Leo is rising here in Iowa. People farther east may have a better opportunity as it will be higher in the sky during the peak.

Because of the low altitude of the radiant point, there is also a chance of earth grazing meteors which just brush the Earth’s atmosphere and then skip back out into space. If you don’t have a clear eastern horizon, you can wait several hours after the peak time (as Leo rises higher) and still have a good chance of seeing a number of meteors.

If you are interested in trying to watch the Leonids, this link will provide more information. If you go out and do see some meteors, please post a comment on what you observed.

2 comments on “Leonid Meteors

  1. If you go out and see the shower, will you wake me up? That seems easier to me than watching the sky for hours in hopes of seeing this spectacular show.