Starwatch: Leonid shooting stars return for their annual visit

Meteor showers originated from comet 55P/Tempel–Tuttle will be preceded by Taurids six days before

One of the year’s most dependable meteor showers is set to take place at the end of the week. The Leonids will peak in the hours between midnight and dawn on 18 November. They are so-called because they herald from a point in the constellation Leo – the lion. Known as the radiant, this point is located just below Leo’s head, a grouping of stars sometimes referred to as the sickle. Somewhere between 10 and 15 bright meteors an hour can be expected in a typical year.

starwatch map 11/11/19

However, light from a waning gibbous moon situated close to the radiant this year could mask a few of the fainter shooting stars from view. The meteors themselves are little more than specks of dust that have been ejected by comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. For those who want to practise their meteor watching, a less active shower, called the Taurids, will peak in the early hours of 12 November. As the name suggests, they will radiate from the constellation of Taurus – the bull.

Contributor

Stuart Clark

The GuardianTramp

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