2020 has been a tough year for all, however, making up for it will be the night sky in November. The Leonid meteor showers are currently making their yearly appearance, and will reach their peak in India on November 17 and 18, according to Norway-based website timeanddate.com. In 2020, these showers are active from November 6th to November 30th.
Leonid Meteor Showers Explained
For the uninformed, the Leonids emerge from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which requires 33 years to revolve once around the Sun. These meteors are bright and among the fastest moving as they travel at speeds of 71 km per second. During this year’s showers, peaks of around 10 to 15 meteors are expected to be seen every hour.
According to a report in CNN, the Leonid showers include fireballs which is bright and large meteors than can last longer than average meteors, and “earthgazers”, meteors which appear close to the horizon with colourful and long tails.
Many might not know that meteor showers are named after the constellation they appear to be coming from. Leonids are named the way they are as they originate from the constellation Leo the Lion, groups of stars which form a lion’s mane.
How to see Leonid Meteor Shower?
To catch any Leonids, the best strategy is to stake out in the early morning pre-dawn hours. Generally, meteors are best seen on a cloudless night, with the entire sky visible and when the Moon is not extremely bright.
Reports state that the Leonids will be most visible in the Northern Hemisphere, but can also be seen from the Southern Hemisphere. India lies in the Northern Hemisphere.
If one wishes 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.