Archive for November 15, 2019

11/15/2019 – Ephemeris – The Leonids in the moonlight

November 15, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, November 15th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 5:14, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:40. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 7:45 this evening.

We are coming into a period where the Leonid meteor shower will be at its peak, as the Earth passes through the debris left by Comet Tempel-Tuttle on past trips through the inner solar system. We are having a bright Moon now which will diminish their numbers. The Leonids are only visible after midnight, and that’s when the Moon is highest in the sky. The meteors will appear to come from the top of a backward question mark that is the head of the constellation Leo the lion. They will be seen all over the sky, but can be traced back to that point. The Leonids are most numerous about every 33 years, which is about 13 years from now. Otherwise we get about 15 meteors an hour at peak when the Moon isn’t out.

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


Leo rising at around 2 a.m. on the morning of November 20. Note the radiant .

Leo rising at around 2 a.m. on the morning of November 18. Note the radiant in the sickle asterism of Leo. Created using Looking Up, my own program.

New Meteor News!

I’ll have more next week, but we may be able to witness a meteor storm on the evening of the 21st and morning of the 22nd.  It is the Alpha Monocerotids.  They will seem to come from the constellation of Monoceros the unicorn.  That constellation lies in the blank spot in the triangle between Orion, Canis Major and Canis Minor.  The radiant will rise at 10:30 p.m.

Check this out: