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2014 Leonid meteor shower

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The Leonids peak around mid-November.


The Leonids will peak on November 16 and November 17 in 2014. Astronomers suggest that observers plan to view it during the early morning of November 17.

The Leonid meteor shower is annually active in the month of November and usually peaks around November 16. The shower is called Leonids because its radiant or the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from, lies in the constellation Leo.

The Leonids occur when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The comet takes around 33 years to make one orbit around the Sun.

People can view about 20 meteors an hour at the peak of the Leonids meteor shower.

Where to view

The Leonids can be seen by viewers from both hemispheres.

While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower – just lay down on the ground and look directly above and you are bound to see some meteors – astronomers suggest lying down on the ground looking towards the East and look at the sky above you to view the Leonids.

When to view

The best time to view the Leonids is just after midnight and right before dusk.

How to view

There isn’t a lot of skill involved in watching a meteor shower. Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for the Leonids:

  • Get out of the city to a place where city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of star gazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can’t see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.
  • Check the weather and moonrise and moonset timings for your location before you leave, and plan your viewing around it.

Location in the sky

The Leonids meteor shower is not visible at this time of year. The best date is around Nov 17, 2017, table below is for that date:
Leonids meteor shower for Washington DC
Midnight Fri-Sat69°East-northeast9.1°
Sat 1:00 AM78°East-northeast20.2°
Sat 2:00 AM86°East31.8°
Sat 3:00 AM96°East43.5°
Sat 4:00 AM108°East-southeast54.9°
Sat 5:00 AM127°Southeast65.3°
Sat 6:00 AM161°South-southeast72.3°
Note: times are for Nov 17, 2017.
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