Archive for November 17, 2022

11/17/2022 – Ephemeris – The peak of the Leonid meteor shower

November 17, 2022 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, November 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 5:12, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:43. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:25 tomorrow morning. | The Famous Leonid meteor shower, which has had spectacular displays about every 33 years, is forecast to reach its normal peak this year, near 6 pm our time, with another smaller peak around 2 am tomorrow. The numbers of meteors, forecast during those peaks, of only about 10 per hour. The Moon will interfere after 1:25 am. And no meteors will be seen before 11:30 p.m. when the radiant rises. The last great 33 year peak was in 1998, so we’re a ways away from the next one. The responsible body for these meteors is the Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Every time the comet passes through the inner solar system, the Sun’s heat liberates gas, dust and small grains of rock. These small grains end up following and trailing the comet.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT -5 hours). They may be different for your location.


Leonid meteor shower as seen from space

The Leonid meteor shower as seen from space. The time is set for today, so the Earth’s blue dot is lost in the stream of meteors crossing the Earth’s orbit (3rd one out from the Sun) just above 9 o’clock. The long ellipse is the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle and the purple dot near the aphelion neat Uranus’ orbit is the calculated current position of the comet. The flurry of dots is the calculated positions of meteors whose orbits have been calculated. Click on the image to enlarge. Credit: NASA’s CAMS video camera surveillance network, and were calculated by meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center. This visualization is developed and hosted by Ian Webster.