BOSTON (CBS) — Tonight we are in for a treat. An annual tradition in November unlike any other. . . no not turkey and stuffing, but the Leonid Meteor shower!
Every year around this time, the Earth passes through the dusty trail of debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids are one of our most reliable meteor shows every year. As long as skies are clear and you are patient, you will almost certainly catch a few shooting stars!
Current predictions are for about 10-15 meteors per hour this year.
A few tips on how to best view the Leonids tonight…
First off, the Leonids stream from the constellation Leo, which unfortunately doesn’t rise above the eastern horizon until well after midnight. So, while you may see a few meteors early tonight, your best shot would be between 2 a.m. and dawn.
Head's up! The Leonid Meteor Shower peaks tonight with as many as 10-15 per hour! pic.twitter.com/8xc4WZQzhs
— Terry Eliasen (@TerryWBZ) November 16, 2020
Find an area with as little artificial light pollution as possible. Set up the lawn chair, lie back and focus on one section of night sky (preferably facing either northeast or southeast). Dress warmly and be patient!
Oh, and don’t blink! The Leonids are one of the fastest moving meteors you will see here on Earth, clocking in at an astounding 44 miles per second!
And a quick note, every 33 years, when the comet makes a return visit, we have the chance at a stunning show with as many as 100 or more meteors per hour. The last such occurrence was back in 1998, we will get another shot in 2031 (so, mark your calendars!).
Of course, I’d be remiss if I left you without a forecast for tonight! Skies will be mainly clear for the first half of the night, with some higher clouds streaming in before dawn. Likely not enough to ruin the show for most of you. Temperatures will be chilly, dropping through the 30s overnight with winds out of the west, slowly decreasing by dawn.
Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ