2020’s Leonid meteor shower is this week!
November’s wonderful Leonid meteor shower is active from about November 6 to 30 each year. The peak is expected in 2020 on the morning of November 17. The shower happens as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. Like many comets, Tempel-Tuttle litters its orbit with bits of debris. It’s when this cometary debris enters Earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes that we see the Leonid meteor shower. In 2020, the moon – in a waxing crescent phase – will set in early evening, to provide moon-free skies after midnight when the most meteors typically fall. In a dark sky, with no moon, you can see up to 10 to 15 meteors per hour at the peak.
Although this shower is known for its periodic storms, no Leonid storm is expected this year.