Leonid Meteor Shower 2009

Richard

The Leonid meteor shower peaks at 9:00 a.m., MST, on Tuesday, November 17th.

There are predictions that observers in Asia may see several hundred meteors around the peak hour. However, under normal conditions, this shower produces 15-20 meteors per hour around peak time, so the best time to look for Leonid meteors would be the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday the 17th.

The shower is named for the constellation of Leo, which contains the radiant.  The radiant of the shower is the perceived origin of the meteors. You can see meteors across the sky, but if you mentally trace backward the familiar streak of light, you will notice that the paths tend to converge within the constellation of Leo.

Meteor showers are the result of the Earth passing through the debris field left behind a passing comet. The Leonids are the result of comet Tempel-Tuttle, which rounds the Sun every 33 years. We are still over 20 years from the next pass, but there is always dust and rocky debris in the path.

No telescope or binoculars are needed. Just dress warm, and watch the skies for Leonid meteors.

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2 thoughts on “Leonid Meteor Shower 2009

  1. Any chance you know of a good recording of the meteor that lit up the sky early this morning? Something with good video and audio…?

  2. Our friends at the Willard L. Eccles Observatory at Frisco Peak captured some great footage from their security cameras. Granted, it is not high resolution and there is no sound, but you really get a great depiction of what was seen in the night sky. Visit http://ow.ly/DsWH to see the footage.

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