Archive for November 19, 2018

11/19/2018 – Ephemeris – The Leonids’ comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle

November 19, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, November 19th. The Sun will rise at 7:45. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 5:10. The Moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 4:29 tomorrow morning.

We have another day in this year’s extended Leonid meteor peak. In past years, usually every 33 years the Leonid meteors have a super peak, called a meteor storm, where thousands of meteors streak through the skies. These appear for a brief period over a rather small geographic area. In 1966 it occurred principally over the Rocky Mountains. The comet responsible is Comet Tempel Tuttle, independently discovered by two astronomers Tempel and Tuttle in 1865 & 1866. The comet had a 33 year orbit of the Sun, and its orbit crosses very close to the Earth’s orbit. Comets are notorious litter bugs, shedding gas, dust and pebble sized debris as they come close to the warming rays of the Sun.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Entire orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle
Entire orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle projected on the plane of the Earth’s orbit.. Credit C2A Planetarium program, copied from
The comet's orbit and debris stream
The comet’s orbit and debris stream where it intersects the Earth’s orbit. Credit Katie Peek, Popular Science.