Leonid Meteor Shower: Nov 16-17

Shawn Johnston • 9 November 2019

Just as the Taurid meteor shower is winding down the Leonid meteor shower is starting to pick up. Your best chance is to watch between midnight and dawn on Monday morning. 

Let us know if you go out to watch and if you see any meteors! Comment here, mention us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 

Updated (Nov 15): Space.com is predicting that this year's Leonids aren't going to be great. >> Read more

Night Sky Network Article: Leonids Meteor Shower

The Leonids meteor shower's peak is expected to occur tonight,  November 17-18.  A warning for observing this years shower: as there will be a bright second quarter up for a good portion of the night, and so all but a few of the brightest meteors will be washed out.

The Leonids generally produce 15 or so meteors per hour, but this year the number will be far less, as the Moon will wash most of them out. In an outburst a great many more may be seen. These outbursts occur every 33 years and the last one was in 2001, so the next unusually strong Leonids shower not expected to occur again until 2034. They originate from the dust tail of Comet Tempel-Tuttle.

The Leonids will appear to streak from the constellation Leo, but can be seen anywhere across the sky. Thankfully, there will not be much interference from the Moon this year! 

If you want to try to spot some meteors, bundle up, as it is getting late in the year! Get to a dark spot, get comfortable, bring extra blankets to stay warm, and let your eyes adjust to the dark sky. A cozy lounge chair makes for a great seat, as does simply lying on your back on a blanket, eyes scanning the whole sky. 

Astronomical LeagueAstronomical League: Watch A Meteor Shower, Get A Certificate

If you go out to observe this meteor shower you should record your observations for credit towards earning the Astronomical League’s Meteor Observing Program

Additional Leonids Meteor Shower Resources

Night Sky Network: Check out the attached Night Sky Network meteor watching party handout: Heads Up: It's a Meteor Shower Handout!

EarthSky: has a nice article "All you need to know: 2019's Leonid meteor shower". 

Space.com: also has an article "Leonid Meteor Shower 2019: When, Where & How to See It

Additionally, Space.com has a nice video on the meteor shower:

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