Every year the Leonids meteor shower passes by our planet and the peak of activity is fast approaching. The spectacle should be most visible on the 17th and 18th of November. With a little luck, viewers can spot up to fifteen comets per hour shooting across the sky.
While the bright light of the waxing gibbous moon may dampen the experience this year, the approaching meteor shower is still an exciting event for many space lovers. This phenomenon is a result of Earth coming into the orbital path of Comet Tempel–Tuttle. Small bits of debris originating from this larger comet have broken off and burn up as they enter the atmosphere, resulting in this yearly light show.
Finding a rural, dark space with minimal light pollution is essential when comet-spotting. Another tip is to plan your stargazing session just before dawn when the moon is on its way out and its light can’t wash out the darkness of the night sky.
If you do spot any, don’t forget to make a wish.
Text: Leïlani Duroyaume, final edit: Marie-Julie Van de Sijpe
Photo: © Leïlani Duroyaume