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Leonid meteor shower

Date: 18 November 2020 Tags: Space


The Leonid meteor showers are currently making their yearly appearance, and will reach their peak in India on November 17 and 18.



The Leonids emerge from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which requires 33 years to revolve once around the Sun.



  • Meteor showers are named after the constellation they appear to be coming from. The Leonids originate from the constellation Leo the Lion– the groups of stars which form a lion’s mane.

  • On its journey around the Sun, the Earth passes through large swathes of cosmic debris. The debris is essentially the remnants of comets.

  • As the Earth wades through this cloud of comet waste, the bits of debris create what appears to be a fireworks display in the sky — known as a meteor shower.


Meteor shower

  • Meteors are best seen on a cloudless night, when the entire sky is visible, and when the Moon is not extremely bright. Chances of a successful viewing are higher from locations far away from the lights of cities.

  • The showers peak when the Earth passes through the densest part of the debris cloud. Peaks can last for a few hours or several nights.

  • They tend to be most visible after midnight and before dawn. The showers should be seen with naked eyes; binoculars and telescopes narrow the field of vision.

  • The Leonids will be most visible in the Northern Hemisphere, but can also be seen from the Southern Hemisphere.



  • Meteoroids are significantly smaller than asteroids, and range in size from small grains to one-meter-wide objects.

  • Most are fragments from comets or asteroids, whereas others are collision impact debris ejected from bodies such as the Moon or Mars.

  • When a meteoroid, comet, or asteroid enters Earth's atmosphere at a speed typically in excess of 20 km/s, aerodynamic heating of that object produces a streak of light, both from the glowing object and the trail of glowing particles. This phenomenon is called a meteor or "shooting star".

  • A meteorite is the remains of a meteoroid that has survived the ablation of its surface material during its passage through the atmosphere as a meteor and has impacted the ground.

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