ATLANTA, GA — The Leonid meteor bathe peaks in a single day Sunday and Monday morning, though a brilliant moon might intrude a bit with the view. Skywatchers within the Atlanta metro might be able to see the meteor present.

The Nationwide Climate Service is looking for principally cloudy skies throughout the Atlanta area through the meteor bathe’s peak. In typical years, the meteors fly at a fee of about 10 or 15 an hour. You may need to discover a darkish sky as distant as doable from metropolis lights.

The very best {viewing} instances for the Leonid meteor bathe are after midnight and earlier than daybreak. They radiate outward from the celebs that make up the lion’s mane within the constellation Leo, however Invoice Cooke, NASA’s meteor skilled, instructed that skywatchers who stare straight on the radiant level could miss meteors which have longer tails.

For the finest probability to see Leonid meteors, skywatchers ought to look away from the moon, advises.

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And here is some excellent news as you are bemoaning the waning gibbous moon: a brilliant sky will not trigger you to overlook the uncommon and spectacular meteor storm. Even below a moonlit sky, among the brightest Leonid meteors must be seen.

The Leonids are identified for producing among the most wonderful meteor storms in historical past, however no such occasion is predicted this yr, in keeping with meteor specialists.

The meteor bathe happens when the Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which litters its orbital path with particles. The particles vaporizes when it enters the Earth’s environment, inflicting the falling stars.

Specialists say at the very least 1,000 meteors an hour should fall for a bathe to be thought-about a storm, which they are saying happen about each 33 years, the period of time it takes Tempel-Tuttle to orbit the solar. The father or mother comet releases recent particles with each orbit, rising the probability of a meteor storm.

The best Leonids meteor storm ever recorded was in 1833, when as much as 100,000 meteors an hour have been reported. Then 33 years later, a storm occurred in 1866. That brought on astronomers to foretell one other one in 1899, however it did not happen.

The subsequent spectacular Leonid meteor storm did not happen till 1966, the place skywatchers within the southwest U.S. reported seeing 40 to 50 meteors a second (2,400 to three,000 per minute) for a 15-minute interval through the peak, Earthsky mentioned. reported one other Leonid meteor storm occurred in 2001, when “1000’s of meteors an hour rained over North {America} and Hawaii.”

— By Beth Dalbey

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