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The Leonids put on a meteor show this weekend



The established arguers have the opportunity to see some heavenly sights this weekend: Leonidas, an annual meteor shower, appears overnight Sunday and Monday morning.

Named because the meteor shower does not seem to depart from Leo's constellation, the show takes place from November 6-30, with the highest concentrations of meteors occurring this weekend.
It occurs when the Earth crosses paths with the comet's orbit (called Comet 55P / Tempel-Tutl), resulting in debris from the planet's rain.

Working against the arguers this year is the fact that the moon will be bright this weekend, and some clouds are in the forecast. Your best bet is to get away from city lights as far as possible, according to an Earthsky.org story. And find ways to minimize obstacles from the moon.

"Try to shadow a large structure (like a barn) or a mountain shade," the story says. "Just try to keep the moon out of sight. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness for a period of, say, 15 minutes to half an hour. Just wait and see, don't expect too much and see what you see. “

Shower peak between midnight and dawn, when about 10-15 meteors are expected.

Unless Leonid's meteor storms are expected – which spend thousands of hours long – no one crossing the sky should be seen, it says relatively easily.

"Because Leonids orbit the sun in the opposite direction to Earth, they collapse into our atmosphere almost mainly, resulting in the fastest possible meteor speeds: 45 miles (72 kilometers) per second," the story says. "Such speeds tend to create bright meteors, which leave long-lasting lanes or steam trains ahead."

And, if you really want to increase your chances of seeing the show, there are two preserved dark skies relatively close to Grand Sudbury: Manitoulin Island and Toras Barnes Dark Sky Reserve in Grunhardt.

Check out the global map of the preserved dark skies here.


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