Leonid Meteor Shower

Richard

The annual Leonid Meteor Shower peaks on Wednesday the 17th at 1:00 PM, MST. Peak rate for the Leonids is 15 meteors per hour. Best viewing would be on the early morning hours of Wednesday, as a waxing gibbous Moon will wash out most evening-hour meteors. Moonset on the 17th (meaning the night of the 16th) is 3:18 AM, MST, on the 17th. Viewing should also be good for the pre-dawn hours of the 18th, with moonset at 4:19 AM, MST.

The Leonids are named for the constellation of Leo, which contains the radiant of the meteor shower. The radiant is the source point for meteors, meaning that if you trace backward the familiar streak of light associated with a meteor, you would find that they all trace back to a convergence point in Leo.

Comet Tempel-Tuttle is the source of the Leonids. This comet has an orbital period of just over 33 years, and meteor storm activity is predictable with each pass. The last perihelion date was in 1998, so the next time we will see Tempel-Tuttle won’t be until 2031.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>