Join CNN’s Marvel Concept science e-newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more.
Up subsequent for end-of-year celestial spectaculars is the Leonid meteor bathe, set to supply brilliant meteors with persistent trains streaking throughout the night time sky.
The Leonids have been lively since early November however are anticipated to peak this weekend at 12:33 a.m. ET Saturday, according to EarthSky. Sky-gazers may see 10 to fifteen meteors per hour in a blinding show.
These trying to catch a glimpse of a meteor from this bathe are in luck as a result of the moon will likely be in its waxing crescent section, and there won’t be as a lot mild interference as there may be with a full moon, mentioned Dr. Sharon Morsink, a professor of physics on the College of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. The moon will likely be 23% full on the night time of the bathe’s peak, in line with the American Meteor Society.
Whereas the height is on Saturday, the identical charges of meteors could be seen a couple of days earlier than and afterward. The very best time to view the bathe will likely be after midnight in any time zone when the constellation Leo would be the highest within the sky, mentioned Morsink, who additionally manages the college’s astronomical observatory. Leo is the meteor bathe’s radiant, which is the purpose the place the phenomenon seems to originate from, she defined.
“A very powerful factor is to get away from mild air pollution,” Morsink mentioned. “You may nonetheless see some meteors in the event you’re within the metropolis, however you’re not going to see wherever close to the quantity that you simply get to see in the event you get out of town.”
The Leonids are famed for producing meteor storms, the time period used when a bathe reaches charges of a minimum of 1,000 meteors per hour, according to NASA.
Holding the file for the best charge of meteors per hour seen in a meteor stream, the Leonids produced 144,000 meteors per hour in 1966, in line with the American Meteor Society. The bathe additionally produced outbursts of upper charges in 1999 and 2001, however the society doesn’t anticipate one other storm till 2099, when the Earth is predicted to come across a dense cloud of particles from the dad or mum comet, Tempel-Tuttle.
Because the comet travels across the solar, it leaves a path of rocks and dirt that seems because the annual Leonid meteor bathe when Earth strikes by means of the particles whereas by itself orbital path.
Though a Leonid storm occasion shouldn’t be predicted for this 12 months, there may be all the time an opportunity to see a couple of extra meteors than the expected charge, Morsink mentioned.
“Getting out and seeing any meteor bathe for the primary time is all the time enjoyable,” she mentioned. “It’s simply this attention-grabbing connection that now we have with the entire photo voltaic system — right here’s this comet that’s far-off from us that has been circling the solar for an extremely lengthy interval, billions of years in all probability. … It’s a manner for us to attach with issues which can be actually far-off.”
Meteors from the Leonids are anticipated to be seen blazing within the sky till the bathe’s finality on December 2, in line with the American Meteor Society. If you’re desperate to see extra, listed here are the remaining meteor showers that peak in 2023:
● Geminids: December 13-14
● Ursids: December 21-22
There are two full moons remaining in 2023, according to the Farmers’ Almanac:
● November 27: Beaver moon
● December 26: Chilly moon