Leonid meteor shower 2022 peaks this week. Best times to see November’s bright fireballs.

Leonid meteor shower 2022 peaks this week. Best times to see November’s bright fireballs.

Just a week after one total lunar eclipse November’s full moon turned into one rusty-reddish color, another remarkable aerial event is on the way. This time it is the 2022 Leonid meteor showerwhich will reach its peak in the coming days.

Known as one of the main meteor shower in the fall season Because of the bright fireballs, the Leonids are expected to be at their best from late night on Thursday, Nov. 17, to the early morning hours on Friday, Nov. 18, according to astronomy experts. And some say there could be a bigger burst of shooting stars on Saturday morning, November 19.

During an average year, the Leonid shower usually generates 10 to 15 meteors per hour in dark areas away from city lights. And for some years this rainstorm has had huge bursts of bright fireballs, numbering in the hundreds.

“While it may not live up to its historic reputation, it could end up being one of the best astronomy events of the year,” AccuWeather said in a preview of the 2022 Leonids.

AccuWeather say two meteor experts from the American Meteor Association have analyzed the timing of when Earth will move through several trails of space debris from a comet known as 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, and they believe our planet is the largest burst of shooting stars early Saturday morning.

If their analysis is correct, AccuWeather says, stargazers could see between 50 and 200 meteors per hour for a short time frame on Saturday. (They say the main window for that big eruption could be between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday.)

However, other experts are not convinced that the Leonids will put on a spectacular air show this year. But they say it’s still worth watching late Thursday night, early Friday morning, and again late Friday night to early Saturday.

The EarthSky astronomy website agrees Leonid meteor shower sometimes overperforms, with huge numbers of shooting stars. But “in most years the lion wails instead of roars.”

Experts say the Leonids are already visible in small numbers and will remain visible until December 2, but the largest numbers will be seen in the coming days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).

Meteor shower

The Leonids meteor shower occurs every November when Earth passes through small particles of space debris from a comet known as Tempel-Tuttle. Some years the shower produces large numbers of bright fireballs.Shutterstock

When and where to watch

First things, first. You can see the Leonid meteors almost anywhere, but experts say you’ll increase your chances if you head to a park or open area in a rural area, as far away from bright city lights and streetlights as possible.

Bring a blanket or a lawn chair for comfort, and bundle up, because temperatures are well below normal this week in our region. And give your eyes about 20 minutes to adjust to the dark sky when you look up.

Thrillist. com says “the best time to see the Leonids will be after midnight and by morning local time “on Friday.” The earlier end of that window may be best, as the last quarter moon rising after midnight “might cloud your view of fainter meteors.”

Leonid meteor shower weather forecast

AccuWeather forecasters say air conditions in the New Jersey area should be right for people to see the Leonid meteor shower. The storm is expected to peak late Thursday night to early Friday morning, but some experts say another large eruption could occur early Saturday.AccuWeather

Thrillist recommends looking at which part of the sky, look near the constellation Leo, the radiant constellation of the Leonids — the area of ​​the sky where the meteors appear to be coming from when they streak out.

“Don’t look directly at the glowing skin, though,” the website says. “The meteors will move away from that point. You will see more meteors by looking elsewhere in the sky.”

Space. com says the Leonids are among the fastest meteors of any major rainstorm, “hurling across the sky at 44 miles per second.” Such high velocities “usually produce bright and colorful meteors with shades of white, blue, aquamarine and even green, which leave long-lasting streaks or trains in their wake,” notes the space travel website.

Full moon dates and nicknames 2022

Here are the dates and most common nicknames of all 12 full moons in 2022.Len Melisurgo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Last full moon of 2022

The last of 12 full moons of 2022 will shine in the night sky on Wednesday, December 7, and officially go full blast at 11:08 p.m. Eastern Time.

Its most common nickname is the “cold moon” because it appears when the cold of winter sets in.

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Len Melisurgo can be reached at [email protected].

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