Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Leonid Meteor Shower

Stargazers are in for a treat tonight as the solar system provides us with a spectacular light show.

The Leonid meteor shower is currently passing overhead bringing the possibility of hundreds of shooting stars during the hours of darkness.

The meteor stream will appear to originate from the direction of the constellation Leo and is therefore designated as the Leonid meteor shower.

Between midnight and dawn on November 18 the Earth's rotation will be better positioned to meet the oncoming stream resulting in faster, brighter shooting stars which can be seen in any sky direction.

The meteor shower is expected to last until tomorrow morning.

The pundits have decreed that there will be a favourable outcome with the possibility of hundreds of meteors per hour entering our atmosphere under moonless conditions.

This meteor shower is said to flood the horizon with 20-30 shooting stars per hour. However, people in Asia will be able to see 400-500 shooting stars per hour. In the 1830’s and 1900’s thousands of stars were visible to the naked eye. Although thousands of stars are not even estimated at its peak, this year the shower is expected to be more visible than in previous years.

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