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One of the fastest in the year: when Ukrainians will be able to see the Leonids meteor shower

Alina MilsentNews
Meteor shower

Meteor showers are also called star showers. It is a natural phenomenon when numerous meteors can be seen flying from one point in the night sky. Meteor showers are periodic phenomena that last from several days to several weeks.

The streams are named after constellations: for example, the Leonids are associated with the constellation Leo. Science Alert tells when you can see the November star shower.

What is the Leonids meteor shower?

Meteor showers are caused by comets orbiting the Sun. Their fragments form a so-called meteorite swarm along the orbit. Traditionally, the Leonids can be seen in November.

This meteor shower is associated with comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which has a 33-year rotation period. The activity of the Leonids' stream increases after the comet passes its perihelion. During the period when the Earth passes through the meteor shower, we can see the microparticles flashing in the atmosphere.

Leonids are the most powerful meteor showers. During this phenomenon, you can observe an incredibly bright starfall. Astronomers say that at the turn of the millennium, from 1998 to 2002, hundreds or even thousands of meteors could be seen per hour.

One of the fastest in the year: when Ukrainians will be able to see the Leonids meteor shower

When you can see the meteor shower

The peak of the meteor shower will be observed in the morning of November 18 at about 7 am Kyiv time.

Astronomers note that the Moon will be located in the constellation Sagittarius and will not interfere with nighttime observations.

It is worth noting that the Leonids are extremely fast meteors, moving at a speed of 71 km/sec. For comparison, the equally well-known Perseid shower moves at 59 km/sec.

The meteor shower can be seen from most places in the world. This year, the viewing conditions will be especially good as there will be very little moonlight in the sky.

It will be possible to see about 10-15 meteors per hour in the hours after midnight and until Saturday morning.

The Leonid meteor shower is also known for producing meteor storms in the past with unprecedented numbers of comets flying through the sky. In 1966, it made for an incredible show: people in the southwestern United States reported seeing up to 3,000 meteors per minute.

But these meteor storms only occur about every 33 years: the same amount of time it takes for a comet to complete its orbit around the Sun. The next storm is predicted to occur in 2032.

The best place to watch the stars is outside the city in the open area away from artificial light. Leonids are expected to scatter across the sky.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA shared when and where to watch the Perseid meteor shower.

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