CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Leonid meteor shower is active from around November 6th through the end of November, each and every year.
This year’s peak is on the morning of November 17.
The shower happens as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle.
Like many comets, Tempel-Tuttle litters its orbit with bits of debris. It’s when this cometary debris enters Earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes that we see the Leonid meteor shower.
This year the moon – in a waxing crescent phase – will set in early evening, to provide moon-free skies after midnight when most of the meteors usually streak across the clear sky. In a dark sky without a moon in view, you can see up to 10 to 15 meteors per hour at the meteor shower’s peak.
In north-central West Virginia, there will be clouds and wintry precipitation expected east of I-79, so the better views of the Leonid meteor shower will be in the western half of the region. The views of the meteor shower are expected to end just before sunrise.