Tonight is the night for the best viewing of the Leonids meteor shower
The Leonids, a remarkable astronomical phenomenon known for their impressive speed and brightness, are set to grace the night sky once again tonight (Friday), captivating star enthusiasts and those simply looking to witness a visually stunning spectacle.
These meteor showers, characterized by their striking green trail, owe their vibrant appearance to the incredible speed at which they travel, which is estimated at around 250,000 kilometres per hour.
Tonight, the night of November 17th to 18th, will mark the peak of the meteor shower offering a prime opportunity for people to witness this celestial event, during an optimal viewing window from midnight to 2:00am
This year promises to be ideal conditions for observing the Leonids, as their peak activity aligns with a dark sky, just four days after the New Moon. According to NASA, observers may be treated to a display of 15 to 20 meteors per hour during the shower.
The Radiant and Origin of the Leonids:
The apparent point of origin for these meteors, known as the radiant, is situated in the Leo constellation, giving the meteor shower its name. In reality, the Leonids are fragments of the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle.
This spectacular phenomenon occurs when Earth passes through the debris and dust clouds left behind by this comet. Currently, our planet is on the verge of entering these debris clouds, setting the stage for a breathtaking astronomical event.
As the Leonids return to grace our skies, astronomers and stargazers alike are gearing up for a night of celestial wonder, eagerly anticipating the mesmerizing display that is sure to leave spectators in awe.
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