July 12, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Spot up to 30 meteors per hour tonight thanks to the peak of the Leonid meteor shower |  Science and the planet

Spot up to 30 meteors per hour tonight thanks to the peak of the Leonid meteor shower | Science and the planet

Those who love watching meteors, also known as “shooting stars,” can treat themselves again tonight. You can see up to 30 per hour. This is because the maximum of Leoninden, the meteor shower, occurs on the night of Friday 17 or Saturday 18 November. Time to make a wish!

Many meteors can be seen tonight, at a rate of twenty to thirty per hour. This is largely due to the maximum of the Leonid meteor shower. Because in reality, of course, it is not about “falling stars,” but rather about very small pieces of rock and debris, coming from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which enters our atmosphere at high speed (about 70 kilometers per second). And it burns there.

This comet takes about 33 years to orbit the Sun. This means that there is a cycle of about 33 years in which the Leonids produce impressive star showers. That will not be the case this year. The last time was in 1966 and 1999. Astronomers estimate that this will happen sometime between 2033 and 2035. People even talk about recurring meteor storms with thousands of meteors per hour and even fireballs.

The highlight of the night is the Leonid meteor shower. The moon will not be a nuisance this year. Only the weather can throw a spanner into action. According to RMI, the weather will remain dry everywhere tonight with clear skies at times. There may be more cloud fields to the east and northeast. During the night, cloud cover will increase again from the coast. Minimum temperatures range from 2 to 5 degrees Celsius. If you want to spot meteors, it’s best to stand in a place with little light pollution. Then look to the southeastern horizon for the constellation Leo. It is best to look in the early hours of Saturday before sunrise.

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The end of the year is the perfect time to spot meteors. In October, August and October we already had Perseids and Orionids. So now there are leonids and next month in December we can enjoy the leonids again. So, if you miss them now, you have another chance next month.

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