COLUMBUS, GA (WRBL) – The last of three November meteor showers will peak this week and while it may not be the biggest or the brightest, we’re still in for a treat.
The Leonid meteor shower is set to peak during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 17 and Thursday, Nov. 18 with approximately 10-15 meteors per hour. We will have more moonlight to contend with as we approach a nearly full moon so the fainter meteors will be hard to pick out, but if you can reach a dark location, you should be able to see a few.
The Leonid’s can produce burst of meteors, in what can be described as a “Meteor Storm”. This storm has roughly 30 meteors per second and can appear as if the sky is opening up with waterfalls of meteors. This only happens when Earth crosses through a fresh debris field from its parent comet, comet 55p/Temple-Tuttle. The last time Earth crossed through the dense debris field of the parent comet was in 2001 and it won’t happen again until 2099, making this a once in a life time event.
Whether we see one or 15 will ultimately depend on the weather. Clear skies will of course allow us to see much more while clouds will ruin all the fun.
The Leonids lead us right to one of the best meteor showers of the year, the Geminids, which will peak in the middle of December.