How to see the Leonid Meteor Shower in MI this weekend

  • How to see the Leonid Meteor Shower in MI this weekend

How to see the Leonid Meteor Shower in MI this weekend

The always reliable Leonid meteor shower reaches its peak Sunday morning, November 18.

There will be a waxing gibbous on both nights, but the luminous moon will set around 3:00 am on Saturday and Sunday, creating a dark sky and a good time to view. The comet takes 33 years to complete one orbit of the sun.

And while Leonids showers tend to be fairly minor, there are typically between 10 and 15 meteors per hour.

While other meteoroid streams usually contain bits of dust and ice, the Leonid stream also has quite a few gravel-sized bits.

You will need a warm jacket and patience waiting for what's expected to be around 20 meteors per hour at its peak about three hours before sunrise Sunday.

Leonid meteors appear to radiate from a point in the constellation Leo the Lion (hence the shower's name). Be sure to check online to see when it will be visible in your part of the world.

According to NASA the Leonid Meteors, which travel at 41 miles per second are considered some of the fastest, and they are also some of the brightest and most colorful. Fireballs are brighter and larger and can last longer than the average meteor, while earthgrazers appear close to the horizon with long, colorful tails. Some year there are thousands of meteors per hour, it has been very dramatic in years gone by.

The best way to view this phenomenon is to bundle up in cozy sweaters and blankets, lie back on a lawn chair, and keep your eyes peeled to the sky - but don't just stare at one spot! If you want to photograph the Leonid meteor shower, NASA suggests using a camera with manual focus on a tripod with a shutter release cable or built-in timer, fitted with a wide-angle lens.