Leonid Meteor Shower peaks early Tuesday morning


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Leonid meteor shower is active from around November 6th through the end of November, each and every year.

Real-Time Perseid from September 8, 2018. Bright meteors and dark night skies made this year’s Perseid meteor shower a great time for a weekend campout. And while packing away their equipment, skygazers at a campsite in the mountains of southern Germany found at least one more reason to linger under the stars, witnessing this brief but colorful flash with their own eyes. Presented as a 50 frame gif, the two-second long video was captured during the morning twilight of August 12. In real-time, it shows the development of the typical green train of a bright Perseid meteor. A much fainter Perseid is just visible farther to the right. Plowing through Earth’s atmosphere at 60 kilometers per second, Perseids are fast enough to excite the characteristic green emission of atomic oxygen at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so. Credit: Till Credner, AlltheSky.com

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.

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower | COURTESY: EarthSky

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.

Make sure to send in your photos and videos to the StormTracker 12 weather team by email at weather@wboy.com, Facebook, or Twitter.

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