Leonids meteor shower hits earth once again in mid – November when spectacular shooting stars will streak through the night sky. The Leonids meteor shower is associated with comet Tempel-Tuttle. The comet Tempel-Tuttle orbits the sun every 33 years. Due to geometry of its orbit, every year the earth passes through this debris of the comet in November. The debris of the comet smaller than the grain of sand enters the earth’s atmosphere at high speed compressing the air in front of them violently, heating them up and causing them to glow.
These annual Leonids meteor showers had once been one of the most intense meteor showers with a rate as high as 50000 meteors per hour. But this year it won’t be as impressive, because we would be able to see only 15- 20 meteors per hour. Moreover, visibility will be poor this year, because bright light from waning gibbous moon will likely outshine some of the meteors.
This year Leonids meteor shower will peak on the night of November 17 and early morning of November 18 in 2016, just three days after the supermoon. Leonids can be seen by viewers from both the hemispheres. While it is not necessary to look in particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower. For the best view, meteor gazers should face east toward the constellation Leo (The Lion) and look slightly overhead. This way you can have the Leonids’ radiant within your field of view. The Leo is the radiant of the Leonids meteor shower, which means that meteor appear to radiate from within the constellation. Correspondingly, the Leonids meteor shower is named after the constellation Leo for thus reason.