What is the Leonid meteor shower and what is the best way to see a meteor shower?


Team Udayavani, Nov 17, 2020, 2:14 PM IST

Leonid meteor shower is active from about November 6 to 30 each year. It  will reach their peak in India on November 17 and 18

The shower is called Leonids because its radiant, or the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from, lies in the constellation Leo.

The Leonids emerge from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which requires 33 years to revolve once around the Sun. These meteors are bright and among the fastest moving, travelling at speeds of 71 km per second.

According to NASA, Leonids are also known for their fireballs and earthgrazer meteors. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of cometary material. Fireballs are also brighter, with magnitudes brighter than -3. Earthgrazers are meteors that streak close to the horizon and are known for their long and colorful tails.

Best way to see a meteor shower

Find a secluded viewing spot, away from the city lights. Once at the venue, your eyes may take 15 to 20 minutes to get used to the dark.

Meteors are best seen on a cloudless night, when the entire sky is visible, and when the Moon is not extremely bright. Chances of a successful viewing are higher from locations far away from the lights of cities.

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