What is Leonid Meteor Shower? – All you need to know

Know when, where, and how many Leonid meteors you will see during the Leonid Meteor Shower 2021. Every year, debris from a comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle found in the constellation Leo passes through Earth’s atmosphere in November.

Created On: Nov 10, 2021 11:40 ISTModified On: Nov 10, 2021 13:01 IST
Leonid Meteor Shower, Source: AFP
Leonid Meteor Shower, Source: AFP

Leonid Meteor Shower 2021: Every year, debris from a comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle found in the constellation Leo passes through Earth’s atmosphere in November causing a Leonid Meteor Shower. In 2021, the Leonid Meteor Shower will be active between November 6 and 30. The peak time of the Leonid Meteor Shower will be on November 17, 2021 when viewers from Earth will be able to witness cosmic debris like fireworks in the sky.

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Leonid Meteor Shower 2021: When, where, and how many Leonid meteors you will see?

The Leonid Meteor Shower has begun and will be active between November 6 and 30. The Leonid Meteor Shower will be at its peak on November 17, 2021. Since the Leonid meteors originate from the constellation Leo hence one should look in the direction of the constellation Leo during midnight. In about 30 minutes, the meteors will be visible to the naked eye. In 2021, scientists have predicted up to 15 Leonid meteors per hour.

What is Leonid Meteor Shower?

Every year, the debris from the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle which is found in the constellation Leo causes a meteor shower. The Leonid Meteor Shower takes place around November when the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle passes through Earth as the comet takes 33 years to orbit the Sun. That is why a Leonid Meteor Shower occurs every 33 years. Usually, NASA has noted upto 15 meteors per hour during Leonid Meteor Shower.

Difference between Leonid Meteor Shower and Leonid Meteor Storm

When a Leonid Meteor Shower becomes a Leonid Meteor Storm, hundreds to thousands of Leonid meteors per hour travel through Earth’s Atmosphere at speed upto 44 miles (71 kms) per second. A Leonid Meteor Storm is defined as comprising at least 1,000 meteors per hour. Leonid Storms have been witnessed in 1833, 1966, and 2002. A Leonid Meteor Storm is not expected in 2021.

What is Leonid meteor?

Leonid meteors are known as the fastest meteors. The Leonids are also referred to as fireballs or shooting stars as they burn due to friction caused when they enter Earth’s atmosphere. The Leonids meteors were first discovered in 1866 after the sky got lit up during the historic meteor storm in 1833.

Background

In 1866, two astronomers named Ernst Tempel and Horace Tuttle discovered a comet whose orbit around the Sun was calculated to be 33 years. The comet discovered was named as Tempel-Tuttle comet. In 1899, the debris from the Tempel-Tuttle comet was established as Leonid meteors.

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