Title: Leonid Meteor Shower
Location: Hawaiian Island Viewing
Date / Time: November 16-18, 2009
Comments: The peak of the Leonid meteor shower coincides with the New Moon this month and, if the weather cooperates, we could be in for a great show! Under a dark sky, we would normally expect to see 20 to 40 meteors ("shooting stars") per hour, but predictions indicate that rates could SPIKE this year. (Possibly as many as 100 meteors/hour!) The Leonids should demonstrate some activity from Nov. 14-21, with the peak expected at/after 3AM on Tuesday morning, Nov. 17th. From around 2AM thru sunrise Tuesday morning, get yourself comfortably situated in the darkest area you can find. A lounge chair with blankets & a thermos with a hot beverage would be great. You DO NOT need a telescope or binoculars to see this, or any meteor shower. Just make sure you are warm & comfortable, find a dark spot, & scan the sky for streaks of light! These are fast moving meteors, striking Earth's atmosphere at 44 miles/second (160,000 miles/hour!), & appear to originate or "radiate" from the "sickle" shaped head of Leo, the Lion. Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the path of a comet. Tiny bits of debris left behind by comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show ("shooting stars") as they enter the Earth's atmosphere. The parent comet for the Leonids is 55P/Temple-Tuttle, which returns to orbit the Sun every 33 years & last visited our region of the solar system in 1997-98. As comet Temple-Tuttle nears the Sun, like any comet, it heats up and leaves a trail of debris behind it. It is these debris that the Earth intersects which produce the Leonid meteor showers. For more info visit http://meteorshowersonline.com/leonids.html

Maintained by Roz Reiner - Kauai, Hawaii


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