Saturday, November 18, 2006

Watch for earth-gazers

If you are living in New England and the eastward parts of New York State and Quebec watch out for the leonids. This are particles from the comet Temple-Tuttle and are usually a meager show, but every 33 years the Earth enters in a particullary rich part of the stream, this actually happened in the 1998-2002 period, with the 2001 leonids beeing the most remarkable meteor shower in decades, so we are out of the "sweet spot".

Despite that, today (saturday 18) the earth passes through a narrow and dense part of the filament, if you live in the zones mentioned above then at around 11:45 pm east time (04:45 UT) you can expect a nice show, Leo won't be quite high in the sky so don't expect a literal rainfall of the meteors, the nice thing about tonight's meteor shower is that the meteors will enter the atmosphere at a low angle producing very long trails known as "earth gazers". If you are lucky enough to watch this from one of this places please leave a comment!

So, stop reading this and look in the direction of the Leo constellation, now! If you don't know where to look you can use the skycharts at for more details (inclyding a map of the trail) here, if you can't see the country in the map (like me) you are out of luck.

No comments: