Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Leonid Meteor Shower 2017: When and Where to Watch in UK

Leonid Meteor Shower 2017: When and Where to Watch in UK

The Leonids can be seen annually in mid-November when the Earth passes through the debris and dust cloud left by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which swings by the sun and our neighborhood every 33 years (its next visit comes in 2031). In fact, a single observer will likely see no more than 10 to 15 of these meteors per hour emanating from the "sickle" of Leo, the lion. But this year's shower isn't expected to be the fireworks show of years past. "That famous shower had a major effect on the development of the scientific study of meteors".

In 2017, the peak night of the shower is expected from midnight to dawn on Friday and Saturday mornings. "It's one reason the Leonids are so famous". The best time to view the Leonids is from around 3am in the early morning to about 4.15am when dawn breaks.

Telescopes, binoculars, or other equipment aren't required to see Leonid meteors.

Although this year's show won't be almost that dramatic, the rate of shooting stars will still be several times higher than a typical night - and exceptionally bright and fast.

Bill Cooke of NASA told NASA, 'Go outside, find a dark sky, lie flat on your back and look straight up, and be prepared to spend a couple of hours outside'. Clear skies, your eyes (with glasses or contacts, if needed), and a bit of patience are all you need. A moonless night will produce less light to wash out the meteor shower spectacle. That was mainly because the moon shined more brightly than some of the meteors. The meteors will be visible all over the world, according to Vox.

The meteor shower, which usually takes place in November, gets its name from because some of its shooting stars appear to come from part of the Leo star constellation.

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