Monday, November 16, 2009

Watching for Meteors

I posted about the Perseids in August and that is getting people here looking for information on the Leonid meteor shower which is peaking at 13:00 Universal time.

This isn't an astronomy blog but since people are getting here because of the previous post, let me offer directions to a meteor blog:

meteorblog   This page tells you about current meteors.  A post November 10 on the Leonid Meteor shower says:

This year during their peak, which is November 17th, the Moon will be a waxing crescent with 1% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated! This means that the sky will be very dark so the Leonids have a chance of being a very strong meteor shower showing. Over a decade ago the parent comet, 55P/Temple-Tuttle passed close to Earth and this comet is responsible for the Leonids meteor shower each year.
The Leonids are ultra famous because of amazing meteor storms in the past. The Leonids generally have been some of the most brilliant meteor showers over the years and take their name from the position of their radiant near the constellation Leo the Lion; this is because the meteors seem to materialize from that point in the sky. I would love to tell you that this year the Leonids will be a meteor storm, but meteor showers are one of the most unpredictable events.

meteor shower viewing in general - where and how and when to look.

For those interested in tonight's excitement 13:00 universal time converts (for North America) into:

5 am
6 am
7 am
8 am

That's 4 am here in Anchorage.  And now at almost 9 pm the temperature is 0˚F (-18˚C), so it will probably be below 0 at 4 am.  BUT, the sky is clear which is the most important thing for watching meteor showers.



  1. Are you going out at 4am Steve? The cold makes me feel a little less inclined. I may shoot some video and pics if I do.

  2. I went out a bit ago and saw one shooting star. I can't imagine I'll be up at 4am.

  3. I went out for about 30 seconds and froze my tail off. I'll just have to read about it on the web. I guess I'm just a fair-weather meteorologist.


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