The Leonid Meteor Shower peaks Sunday night
One of the most famous and anticipated meteor showers of the year peaks Sunday (November 17th) night into the early hours of Monday (November 18th) morning.
Bad news: this year's show is going to be less flashy than years past. This is for a few reasons:
• The shower itself is expected to be mild compared to years past.
• November's full moon occurred 5 nights ago. It is in a waning gibbous stage, still shining at 75% illumination. Extra light pollution is going to decrease the odds of seeing some of those meteors fly across the night sky.
According to Space.com: this is "one of the most famous of the annual meteor displays. The name recognizes that the shower's radiant point, from which the meteors seem to fan out, is located within the Sickle, the backward-question-mark star pattern within the constellation of Leo (hence, Leonids) that marks the head and mane of the lion."
Reason for the low activity: the comet responsible for this yearly show is not expected to pass through the inner solar system again until the year 2031. Less debris reaching and burning up in Earth's atmosphere leads to a lower meteor count whizzing overhead.
Planning on trying to snag a view regardless? Head out away from city lights, lay on your back, and look up! There is a chance to catch 10 to 15 meteors per hour.