8 Reasons to Watch Tonight’s Leonid Meteor Shower 2020 at Its Peak!

  • AUTHOR: midhat
  • POSTED ON: November 17, 2020

who’s up for some celestial fireworks?

skies are going to be lit this November… actually, we could see about 10 to 15
bright spots falling down an hour overnight Monday into early Tuesday morning
as the annual Leonid
meteor shower
peaks above the United States in the dark night sky.

“The annual Leonids [meteor shower],
caused by Earth passing harmlessly through the debris left by comet
Temple-Tuttle, peaks in the predawn hours tomorrow,” the NASA Solar System
account tweeted Monday.

show will be widely visible across much of the United States starting around
midnight, probably showering at least a dozen bright flares of light across the
sky each hour.

Leonids are well-known for creating some of the most mesmerizing meteor
displays in the annals of astronomy. The most remarkable meteor storms were in
1799, 1833, and 1966, when about tens of thousands of bright spots per hour
were observed across the sky.

in 1999, 2001 and 2003, Leonid displays were much less, as only a few thousand
meteors per hour took place.

you’re still confused whether you should watch the celestial firework display
or not, here are 8 reasons to watch tonight’s meteor shower:

  1. This
    year’s Leonid meteor shower will be more visible than the previous one!

skies are going to be clear across the United States, with a slight chance of
rainfall near the Canadian border,
according to the weather forecast.

2019, the Leonid meteor shower was disrupted by the light of the moon. However,
this year, a thin, crescent moon will only be 5% illuminated, making it more
visible to enjoy the rare sight across the skies.

  1. Though,
    it won’t be as spectacular as shown in Disney movies

says that this year’s shower will be calm as compared to those from 2001 and
2002, when thousands were visible. So, if you’re expecting a mesmerizing sky
show on Tuesday morning, we’re sorry to break this to you, but it’s not going
to happen since the shower will be a bit weak this year!

is important to stress upon the outset that any claims of a Disney-style
spectacular meteor shower display will be highly exaggerated or overly

  1. Perfect
    date night opportunity!

the odds, you can still enjoy a romantic date night under the open skies, when
thousands of bright flares of light rush down the earth. Just imagine a chilly
night, cool breezes, a mesmerizing view, and the company of your loved one!

  1. A bright,
    momentary escape from the dark, chaotic pandemic!

Source: Sapceweather.com (A Leonid fireball captured over Sweden in 2015)

celestial event is a perfect opportunity to escape from the chaos for one
night, and truly enjoy the once-in-a-year view— exactly what we have been needing
this year! Make sure you position yourself away from city lights where the
skies appear to be much darker.

  1. A
    memorable drive down the countryside!

usually prefer to see meteors from yards, decks, rooftops, streets, and
especially highways in and around cities. But the best place to enjoy the
mesmerizing view is always in the country.

Just drive far away from the town,
you’ll notice that same glittering stars who were dimmed by the city lights, will drastically popping out brighter
into your view.

  1.  Perfect time for night camping at your
    local park!

Thin white almost vertical streak over dark, distant hilly horizon.

Source: Space.com (a photo captured during 2015’s Leonid meteor showers.

state and national parks can also be the ideal places to enjoy the meteor
shower. Make sure to go to the park early in the day so that you can grab a
wide-open area with a good view of the sky in all directions.

for a night camping with friends and family, and breathing in fresh air feels
like a distant memory since the pandemic has forced all of us to cave inside
our homes. So, treat your lungs to some fresh air and give your eyes a view to
remember by heading to your local park tonight!

  1. A
    spectacular night out!

out in bars, restaurants, or slumbering at your friend’s place has become so
mainstream! Why not plan a night out with friends to watch a meteor shower this

night falls, you’ll probably be desperate to see meteors, but you have to wait
till midnight! The National Weather Service suggests you should give yourself
at least an hour to truly enjoy the lit skies. Your eyes will be adjusting for
the first 20 to 30 minutes, and after that, you’ll see something bright and
spectacular coming from the skies.

says that the most active period will be 2.am to dawn.

make sure to get enough sleep in the early evening. And after midnight, lie
back comfortably and watch the sky at its best!

  1. The
    unexpected eye treats across the skies from every direction

in annual showers are usually named for the point in the starry sky from which
they seem to radiate. These showers are called Leo the Lion because these
meteors radiate outward from the vicinity of stars, which appears to look like
a lion’s mane.

point in the sky from which meteors appear to radiate is called the radiant
point. The radiant point is actually an optical illusion. This illusion of the radiant
point is caused by the meteor movements, usually moving on parallel paths.

people are mistaken that you must know the meteor’s radiant point in order to
see the meteor shower. But it’s actually not the case; the meteors aren’t
usually visible until they are 30 degrees from their radiant point.

Hence, the Leonid meteors will be visible in all
parts of the sky! So whatever direction you’re looking at, you’ll definitely
see several bright spots popping out into the sky.

Updated November 17, 2020
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