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Leonid's Meteor Shower: How to See Green Shooting Stars



  • The Leonid's meteor shower is peaking this weekend and early next week. Every hour about 15 meteors pull over the night sky.
  • The waning moon is shining, but you can still catch some green shooting stars. [19659002] The Leonids have in the past caused spectacular meteor storms with up to 100,000 shooting stars per hour. The next will be in 2099.
  • This is how you can see the shooting stars.
  • More stories can be found on the homepage of Business Insider.

When light green shooting stars roam the night sky this week, don't worry. It is not an omen. It's only the Leonids.

The meteor shower reaches its peak on the nights of 1

6 to 18 November. The moon may outshine them when it drops – the full moon is over and it's just starting to overshadow – but you can still catch it a few meteors. Expect about 15 per hour.

The Leonids emerge as the earth races through the field of rock and metal debris left behind by the comet Temple-Tuttle each time they drive by. When the rocks collide with our atmosphere, they burn in the beautiful stripes known as shooting stars.

Because the metals are rich in iron and magnesium, the Leonids often leave bright green tails.

 Leonid Meteor

At the beginning of November 1999, a Leonid meteor roams green through the desert sky outside of Jericho.

REUTERS / Jim Hollander


Enthusiastic stargazers know the Leonids best for their meteorite storms – exceptionally thick and spectacular meteor showers.

The last Leonid storm in 1999 produced about 3,000 meteors per hour. Even that faded compared to the storms of 1833 and 1966, when hourly 100,000 shooting stars raced across the sky.

"The great meteor storm of the Leonids of 1833 has done more to trigger the study of meteors than any other single event." according to the American Meteor Society.

The Leonids will not trigger such a storm until 2099.

Temple Tuttle will pass Earth again in 2031 and 2064, according to EarthSky. The comet takes about 33 years to orbit the sun.

How to observe the Leonids

  Meteor shower hammock

A girl lies in the hammock while looking at the Milky Way during the summit of the Perseid Meteorite in Kozjak, Macedonia, 13 August 2018.

REUTERS / Ognen Teofilovski


Find a dark spot with a clear view of the sky, ideally far from the city lights. Meteor showers are best past midnight when your side of the earth is pointing in the direction the planet is turning. In this way you catch meteors that collide head-on with our atmosphere and cause much lighter explosions.

Since the moon is so bright this weekend, you need to keep it out of your field of vision. See if you can stand in the shadow of a building to hide it. Otherwise, turn away from him.

Turn to the constellation Leo, where the Leonids seem to have their origins (where they get their name). Sit back and watch for green stripes.

After the Leonids, the Geminids are the next meteor shower that reached its peak on the night of December 13th.


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