Meteor shower alert this weekend!
WHEN: This weekend marks the occurrence of the #Leonid #meteor shower, which tends to be one of the best and brightest every year. The peak of this shower (Friday night into early Saturday morning) also aligns with a new moon, meaning much darker conditions for seeing up to 10-25 meteors per hour! Of course, this is a weather permitting scenario.
WHERE: Face the east, look up, locate the big dipper (the big pot), and follow a “3 fist distance” line towards the constellation Leo (as seen in the image)
WHO: As of now, viewing conditions look to be clear/partly clear for a majority of the United States. The Southeast, Northeast, Southwest, Central and Southern Rockies, and portions of the West Coast and Mid-Atlantic will be in luck. Cloud coverage will likely obstruct views in the Central and Northern Plains, the Great Lakes, and the Middle-to-Upper Mississippi Valley. However check your local weather service forecast by entering your zip code here: http://www.weather.gov/
HOW: Exactly what and how does this happen? As our planet orbits the sun, so do comets. This shower is a result of the Earth crossing paths with the debris trail associated with the Temple-Tuttle comet. Much of this debris enters into our atmosphere, but burns up due to frictional effects, hence the meteors that we see!
Sometimes the comets’ approach is closer than other years, turning a meteor shower into a meteor storm. While this year isn’t going to be a closest approach scenario, clear skies and the new moon will aid in producing a memorable event for many.
This show would definitely be worth the drive into a dark(er) location to observe this phenomena. Get out there, send us your pics, and inspire others to appreciate this beautiful event!