Atlooking to light up this weekend again, as the meteor shower does every mid-November. But this year could come with a bit more "shooting star shooting" activity than normal on Friday night in America and early Saturday morning in Europe.
Leonid's meteor shower appears every year as our planet passes through a cloud of debris left by comet 55P / Tempel-Tuttle. The shower is active most of November, but it really becomes visible when it reaches its peak this weekend. Unfortunately, the Moon is also about 80 percent full, probably washing away some of the 15 meteorites forecast.
Leonids are usually fast shooting stars, moving at 44 mph (71 km / sec), making them bright and sometimes colorful with often persistent paths in the night sky.
Every 33 years or so, Leonids produce meteoric storms as the earth passes through pockets of particularly dense debris resulting in over 1,000 meteors per hour. The effect is described as meteors that appear as rain. While we are not expected to see such a storm in 2019, Russian astronomer Mikhail Maslov predicts "improvements in activity" on Friday night and Saturday morning.
According to Maslow's calculations, the hour can reach up to 20 to 27 meteors between approximately dusk and midnight on Friday on the US West Coast.
The real highlight of the Leonidas comes next night, which means the whole weekend could be good for trying out this meteor shower. To reach it, you'll probably best go as far as possible from city lights and find a place with a wide open view of the night sky. Lie on your back and let your eyes adjust. Make sure you pack if it's cold, then just relax and watch.
If you miss out or the weather doesn't work out, another big meteor event will follow next week whenon Thursday night. Eyes up!
Originally posted on November 15, 10:56 am. PT.