Get ready for the LEONID meteor shower!
This year’s show occurs under prime conditions November 17.
Comet of Origin: 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
Radiant: constellation Leo
Active: Nov. 6-30, 2012
Peak Activity: Night of Nov. 17, 2012
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Approximately 15 per hour
Meteor Velocity: 44 miles (71 km) per second
A meteor shower occurs when Earth travels through specks of debris from comets or asteroids. These pieces of dust and debris hit Earth’s atmosphere at scorching speeds and disintegrate in flashes of light. Leonid meteors are fast, and some leave smoke trails that can last a number of seconds. Many Leonids are also bright. Usually, the meteors are white or bluish-white, but in recent years some observers reported yellow-pink and copper-colored ones.
Photo: Leonid over Mono Lake
Credit: Tony Rowell
Image source: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091119.html