Leonid meteor shower

2018 Nov 18

Dominic Ford – originally published on In-The-Sky.org

The Leonid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 17 November 2018. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 15 Nov to 20 Nov.

The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 20 per hour (ZHR). The Moon will be 11 days old at the time of peak activity, and being so close to Full Moon, will severely limit the observations that will be possible.

The radiant of the Leonid meteor shower is at around right ascension 09h40m, declination +22°, as shown by the green cross on the planetarium above. At midnight, it appears 7° above your north-eastern horizon from London (click to change). All of the meteors will appear to be travelling directly outward from this point, as indicated by the white lines drawn above.

To see the most meteors, the best place to look is not directly at the radiant itself, but at any dark patch of sky which is around 30–40° away from it. It is at a distance of around this distance from the radiant that meteors will show reasonably long trails without being too spread out.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of In-The-Sky.org