Leonids Meteor Shower – November 2016

You can see live meteor hits on our Meteor Watch page http://www.exeterobservatory.com/meteor-watch/

The Leonids will be on show between the 16th and 18th of November 2016. They will peak on the evening of the 17th and could produce around 20 meteors per hour.

November 17, 2016, before dawn, the Leonids
Radiating from the constellation Leo the Lion, the famous Leonid meteor shower has produced some of the greatest meteor storms in history – at least one in living memory, 1966 – with rates as high as thousands of meteors per minute during a span of 15 minutes on the morning of November 17, 1966. Indeed, on that beautiful night in 1966, the meteors did, briefly, fall like rain. Some who witnessed the 1966 Leonid meteor storm said they felt as if they needed to grip the ground, so strong was the impression of Earth plowing along through space, fording the meteoroid stream. The meteors, after all, were all streaming from a single point in the sky – the radiant point – in this case in the constellation Leo the Lion. Leonid meteor storms sometimes recur in cycles of 33 to 34 years, but the Leonids around the turn of the century – while wonderful for many observers – did not match the shower of 1966. And, in most years, the Lion whimpers rather than roars, producing a maximum of perhaps 10-15 meteors per hour on a dark night. Like many meteor showers, the Leonids ordinarily pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest meteor numbers just before dawn. In 2016, the Leonids are expected to fall most abundantly before dawn November 17, though under the bright light of waning gibbous moon. Source: Earth and Sky

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