What’s Up: Leonid Meteor Shower

Nov 15, 2021 | Comets, Daily Space, Jupiter, Meteor Showers, Moon, Saturn, Sky Watching, Venus

IMAGE: Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, dots a backwards question mark of stars known as the Sickle. If you trace all the “shooting stars” from the Leonid meteor shower backward, they appear to radiate from this area of the sky. CREDIT: EarthSky.org

This week in What’s Up is the Leonid meteor shower. These meteors peak early next week, November 17. To find them, look for the bright star Regulus in the east low in the early morning. The radiant, or apparent point in the sky where the meteors come from, is up and to the north of Regulus in the middle of the arc of stars that appear to form the lion’s head. The source of the material for the Leonids Meteor Shower is Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. We will have finding charts on our website at DailySpace.org.

Also up this week are the planets, and they won’t stay up for too much longer. Look to the south for Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon, all in a line going up from west to east. The Moon is almost full, which will wash out most of the Leonids unfortunately, but should still provide enough contrast to see small details on the surface in a telescope. Jupiter and Saturn are unaffected by the Moon’s brightness.

So get out there, look up, and enjoy everything the sky has to offer.

More Information

Heads up! Leonid meteor shower to peak morning of November 17 (EarthSky)


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