Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Meteor Showers In November 2014

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- Night skywatchers will be treated to two meteor showers in mid-November 2014.   The Taurid meteor shower peaks on November 12 and the Leonid meteor shower peaks on November 18.  


Where to Watch the November 2014 Meteor Showers:

 

After midnight on November 12, 2014, the Taurid meteor shower will appear to come from Taurus constellation from the east over the horizon.   The Taurid meteor shower is visible from mid-October into December and is caused by Comet 2/P Encke.




At 3 a.m. on November 18, 2014, the Leonid meteor shower should be visible from any populated area on Earth with clear dark skies, though Northern Hemisphere observers are favored due to the radiant's location in the constellation Leo.   The Leonids will appear to come from the constellation Leo from the east over the horizon. 



How to Watch the November Meteor Showers:

For optimal viewing, find an open sky, lie on the ground, and look straight up into the dark sky. It is important to be far away from artificial lights.  Your eyes can take up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so allow plenty of time for your eyes to dark-adapt.



Where does the  Leonid Meteor Shower come from?

Leonids are bits of debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Every 33 years the comet visits the inner solar system and leaves a stream of dusty debris in its wake. Many of these streams have drifted across the November portion of Earth's orbit. Whenever the Earth hits one, meteors appear to be flying out of the constellation Leo.



Image Credit: NASA