Leonid me­teor shower to light up skies across UAE

The National - News - - NEWS -

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

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