WHEN AND HOW TO WATCH NOVEMBER’S METEOR SHOWER
The Leonid meteor shower is an annual astronomical event which graces our skies every November.
For the whole of November you will be able to catch a glimpse of meteors as they enter out atmosphere, but the shower usually peaks around November 17 to 18 each year.
During the peak, stargazers will be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.
Named for the constellation from which the meteors emerge, the Leonids occur when the Earth passes through the debris of left by Comet Temple-tuttle.
This comet completes its orbit around the sun every 33 years, but leaves plenty of debris for us to smash through in that time, creating beautiful displays in our night sky.
Granted, to make the most of the meteor shower, you’ll have to be awake in the wee hours of the morning (between 1am and 5am) on November 18, but this adds to the magic of it all.
Here are some tips on how to maximise your viewing pleasure:
Find a secluded viewing spot, away from all the neighbourhood lights.
Meteor watching can be a waiting game, so dress appropriately and bring something for comfort — a blanket or chair will do.
Your eyes will take about 15 to 20 minutes to adjust to the dark. Once they’ve done so, get comfy and look in the direction of the radiant (this is the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from, in this case, the radiant will be in the constellation Leo).
There are plenty of apps and online interactive sky maps to help you find the radiant and track the progress of the meteors throughout the event.
Find an open paddock this November, look up, and enjoy the show!