Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – The Leonid Meteor Shower will peak before dawn on Tuesday, November 17th, but a few meteors could streak across the sky this weekend…weather permitting.
The Leonids are an annual meteor shower that peaks in mid-November as Earth travels through the tail debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The meteors will appear to come the constellation Leo, which rises in the eastern sky late in the evening. At its peak the shower typically produces 15 meteors an hour and are often bright and colorful. Every 33 years the Leonids may produce a meteor storm where we see an average of 1000 meteors per hour. These storms happen when Earth is closer to the comet of origin and the last time the Leonids produced a meteor storm was in 2002, so the next one isn’t expected until 2035.
The shower is best viewed after midnight and, as usual, you’ll want to view the shower with as little light pollution as possible. After about 20-30 minutes your eyes will adjust to the dark and you’ll begin to see meteors.
With rain, clouds and wind in the forecast, the weather this weekend is less than ideal for watching the meteor shower. Thankfully, the weather will start to improve as the shower nears its peak on Tuesday and clear skies are expected Monday and Tuesday night. It is November, so temperatures will be chilly with low temperatures in the lower 30s each night.