Calling all sky watchers: Head outside tonight and check out the peak of the Leonid meteor shower! The shower was first visible on November 6th and will last until the 30th, but tonight between midnight and dawn will be the best time to see the show. There are expected to be about 15 sightings per hour, so bundle up and head outside to check them out!
The meteors of this shower are remnants of the Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Though they will appear to be coming from the constellation Leo (which is where the shower gets its name), meteors should be visible all over the sky in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Leonids have been known to produce hundreds of sightings per hour in the past, but a shower that big is not expected for another 20 years. Fortunately, the waning crescent moon won’t wash out too many of the meteors, making for a pretty spectacular viewing either way.
The folks at Slooh Community Observatory will be doing a live webcast of tonight’s event, starting at 8:00 pm EST. In addition to the spectacular view from the meteor shower, Slooh will also be providing the “sounds” of the meteors that occur due to ionization. The presentation will feature Slooh astronomer Bob Berman as well as features from a number of other guests. Use #SloohLeonids in social media to be part of the conversation.
If you live in an area that is unable to see the meteors, you can tune in to look and listen right here: