Humans will witness 2 beautiful cosmic activities in this month – Taurid and Leonid Meteor Shower. Leonid meteor shower which has derived its name from the constellation Leo because it appears to originate from it, puts up a grand show in the night sky every year in mid-November.
Despite having its meteor rate as low as 15 per hour, it is still one of the most notable showers. Its travelling speed is 71 km/sec and is one of the fastest meteors in the universe. The Leonids originate from a comet known as Tempel-Tuttle which takes 33 years to revolve once around the sun.
To brush your memory up a little, a comet is a body made up of ice, dust and rock and it orbits around the sun and can have a diameter of several miles. While Most meteoroids source from the debris from the comets and are also called “shooting stars”.
Usually, meteor showers are visible in cloudless, moonless skies, from places with less pollution. Coincidentally, the moon’s visibility will be lesser than 5% this week, thus offering optimal conditions for cloudless nights.
The view is, of course, better and more impressive in locations away from the hustle-bustle of the city. The Leonid meteor shower will peak on 17-18th November and will be visible from all over India, and Pakistan (under optimal viewing conditions) from 2 am to dawn. It has been visible on and off since the first week of November and will continue to be so till the end of the month.
Along with the Leonid meteor shower, another cosmic activity that the earth will experience this month is the Taurid meteor shower, which looks like fireballs in the sky. That means we can expect a dazzling night sky throughout the month! The Leonid will overlap with the Taurid meteor shower this year, according to a report by CNN, i.e., double the show this time.
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