Leonid meteor shower 2022 peaks this week. The best times to see the bright fireballs are for November.

Just a week after a total lunar eclipse turned November’s full moon a rusty-reddish color, another notable sky event is on the way. This time it is the 2022 Leonid meteor shower, which is set to peak in the coming days.

Known as the Leonids as one of the largest meteor showers of the fall season due to its bright fireballs, the Leonids are expected to be at their best from the late night hours of Thursday, November 17, through the early morning hours of Friday, November. 18, according to astronomy experts. And some say there could be a larger burst of shooting stars early on Saturday morning, November 19th.

During an average year, the Leonid shower usually generates 10 to 15 meteors per hour in dark areas away from city lights. And in some years, this shower has seen the eruption of a large number of bright fireballs, numbering in the hundreds.

“While it may not live up to its historic reputation, it could end up being one of the best astronomy events of the year,” AccuWeather said in a preview of the 2022 Leonids.

AccuWeather says two meteorite experts from the American Meteorological Society have analyzed the timing of Earth’s movement through various tracks of space debris from a comet known as 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, and they believe our planet could see the largest wave of falling stars. early Saturday morning.

If their analysis is correct, AccuWeather says, skywatchers could “see 50 to 200 meteors per hour” over a short period of time on Saturday. (They say the main window for this big eruption could be between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. ET on Saturday.)

However, other experts aren’t convinced that the Leonids will put on a great sky show this year. But they say it’s still worth watching late Thursday night, early Friday morning and again late Friday night into early Saturday.

Astronomy site EarthSky agrees that the Leonid meteor shower sometimes over-performs, with massive numbers of shooting stars. But, “in most years, the lion groans rather than roars.”

Experts say the Leonids are already visible in small numbers and will remain visible until December 2, but the next few days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) will show the largest numbers.

The Leonid meteor shower occurs each November when Earth passes through small particles of space debris from a comet known as Temple-Tuttle. In some years, pigeons produce large numbers of bright fireballs.stock struggle

When and where to look

The most important things first. You can see the Leonid meteors from almost anywhere, but experts say you’ll increase your chances if you go to a park or open area in a rural location, as far away as possible from bright city and street lights.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair for comfort, and bundle up, because temperatures are a lot lower than normal in our area this week. Give your eyes about 20 minutes to adjust to the darkening sky when you look up.

Thrillist.com says “the best time to see the Leonids is after midnight and in the morning local time” on Friday. “An early end to that window might be best, though, because the last quarter moon will rise after midnight,” perhaps blocking your view of the fainter meteors. “

Leonid meteorite weather forecast

Meteorologists from AccuWeather say sky conditions have to be good in the New Jersey area for people to see the Leonid meteor shower. The shower is expected to peak late Thursday night into early Friday morning, but some experts say another large outburst could occur as early as Saturday.AccuWeather

As for what part of the sky to look at, Thrillist recommends looking near the constellation Leo, the Leonides radiant—the region of the sky from which meteors appear to have originated as they shoot.

“However, do not look properly at radiation,” says the site. “The meteors will move away from that point. You will see more meteors than anywhere else in the sky.”

The Leonids are among the fastest meteors of any large shower, Space.com says, “shooting through the sky at 44 miles per second.” The space site notes that fast velocities like this “tend to produce meteors that are bright and colored in hues of white, blue, blue and even green, leaving long-period streaks or trains in their wake.”

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Len Melisurgo can be reached at [email protected].

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