Leonid meteor shower to grace the night skies this week! - All you need to know

 The night sky is about to put on an amazing show for you come November 17 and 18, the Leonid meteor shower is all set to brighten up the skies.

Updated: Nov 15, 2016, 19:27 PM IST
Leonid meteor shower to grace the night skies this week! - All you need to know
A meteor during the peak of the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower. (Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

 New Delhi: Sky gazers, rejoice! The next supermoon may not be visiting before 2034, but the skies still have a lot in store for you!

The month of November isn't over yet and the next celestial spectacle after the supermoon is just round the corner.

The night sky is about to put on an amazing show for you come November 17 and 18, the Leonid meteor shower is all set to brighten up the skies.

This spectacle will take place between the night of November 17 and early morning of November 18, just 3 days after a full moon.

If you want to see the meteors streaking through the sky you need to peer into the dark sky between midnight and dawn and watch from a wide viewing point.

Last year, up to 13 tonnes of dust and rock particles was deposited in the Earth's atmosphere during the course of the meteor shower.

You can find out everything you want to know about the Leonid meteor shower this month below!

What is the Leonid meteor shower?

This shower pays the skies an annual visit and usually peak around this time. It occurs when Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which, like all comets, litters its orbit with bits of debris. It is when this comet debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes, that we see the Leonid meteor shower.

How many meteors will I see?

Recorded typical rates are of about 10 to 15 meteors per hour at their peak before dawn. The best view, however, would be visible if you’re watching from a wide, dark, rural location.

What is the best way to see them?

As per Chronicle Live, astronomers suggest lying down on the ground and looking at the sky between the East and the point right above you to view the Leonids.

When is the best time to view the Leonid meteor shower?

The time just after midnight and right before dawn, is the best time to view the meteor shower. The Leonids ordinarily pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest meteor numbers just before dawn.

Where are the best places to see them?

The showers will best be seen in the Northern Hemisphere. According to Chronicle Live, Europe’s largest area of protected night sky, the Northumberland National Park, was awarded gold tier designation by the International Dark Sky Association, making it officially the best place in England for people to go to enjoy the heavens. There are many venues within the park that offer a prime spot for looking up to the night sky including Kielder Observatory, Cawfields Picnic Site on Hadrian’s Wall, Alwinton Car Park, Walltown Country Park, Stonehaugh and Wooler Common.