Leonid meteor shower to light up skies across UAE
Stargazers can see the Leonid meteor shower piercing the Arabian skies on Friday night and early Saturday.
The month of November is known for the Leonids, which will be at peak performance this weekend, astronomers say.
They can be seen when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which takes about 33 years to orbit the Sun.
About 20 meteors an hour are visible during peak activity. And this year is expected to be great viewing with a new moon on November 18, making the sky darker and the meteors more visible.
“The Leonids are best known for producing great meteor storms in the years of 1833, 1866, 1966 and 2001,” the American Meteor Society said.
“Yet it is not the fresh material we see from the comet, rather debris from earlier returns that also happen to be most dense at the same time.”
The organisation said that the Earth was not likely to encounter any dense clouds of debris for another 82 years.
“The best we can hope for now until the year 2030 is peaks of about 15 shower members an hour and perhaps an occasional weak outburst when the Earth passes near a debris trail,” the society said. “The Leonids are often bright meteors with a high percentage of persistent trains.”
Dubai Astronomy Group will camp under the stars from Friday 9pm to Saturday 4am. Non-members interested in going will be told where it will take place after they pay a fee of Dh100 a person, or Dh200 on the night of the shower.
A new moon on November 18 will mean skies will be darker and meteors will be easier to see