This weekend, the sky is preparing a new show for you to watch, so get ready for one of the most beautiful views you got to see. On Friday morning, stargazers will be offered a view of the Leonid meteor shower. The astronomic event falls just one day before the new moon, which will set the stage for a perfect viewing.
The Leonid meteor shower is visible this weekend
Starting with the first morning hours on Friday, people will be able to spot the bright stars falling during the Leonid meteor shower. Next day, the new moon will be here, but the meteors will remain visible. Therefore, if you’re late on Friday and miss the show, you can still get a chance to enjoy it.
However, don’t expect something big. The Leonid meteor shower is one of the smallest events of the type, so there will be an average of 10 visible meteors per hour. Also, this is not the only astronomic show of the month, as the Orionids will get here as well. Unfortunately, this shower is even smaller, with only 3 visible meteors per hour.
The meteors in the Leonid shower come from a comet’s tail
The place of the Leonid shower comes from its apparent origin, namely the Leo constellation. However, the Temper-Tuttle comet is the real source of the meteors. The comet takes 33 years to perform a complete orbit around the sun. When this happens, the sky will display a rich and bright meteor shower. During regular years, the comet only leaves behind a trail of particles which is not so bright.
The Leonid shower will be most bright between midnight and dawn, and should be visible mostly everywhere on the territory of the United States. However, if you want to see the shooting stars as clearly as possible, it’s best to choose a place where there’s few to no light pollution.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons