How to watch the Leonids Meteor Shower this week

·2-min read

The Leonids Meteor Shower is set to peak in the UK on Wednesday 17th November 2021, producing a display of dazzling meteors. But what is the Leonids Meteor Shower and how can we see it?

When is the Leonids Meteor Shower 2021?

According to Royal Museums Greenwich (RGM), the Leonids Meteor Shower will peak on 17th and 18th November between midnight and dawn, so make sure you set your alarm nice and early.

The meteor shower will hang around the sky for most of the night, but you'll need to be in a rural location to get the best view (try to avoid being around street lights as they can disrupt the view).

A spokesperson from the National History Museum adds: "The darker the skies, the better your odds are of seeing the really faint ones as well. You could go to the coast or stand on a hill in the middle of the countryside somewhere. You might not be able to see anything for the first 10 minutes while your eyes adjust. Once you get used to the low light levels you'll begin to notice more and more. So don't give up too quickly."

What is the Leonids Meteor Shower?

The team at RGM say: "The Leonids are usually one of the more prolific annual meteor showers, with fast, bright meteors associated with Comet Tempel-Tuttle. The radiant (the point where the meteors seem to stream from) is at the head or 'sickle' of the constellation Leo the Lion, hence the name."

Photo credit: Jordan Lye - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jordan Lye - Getty Images

While the Leonids Meteor Shower usually produces a dozen shooting stars per hour during its peak, occasionally they can explode into a celestial waterfall with as many as 30 meteors per second. Rather than a meteor storm of epic proportions, it's expected this year will be a standard display.

What makes this meteor shower so special is that it will arrive just a few days before November's full moon — the Beaver Moon (Friday 19th November). You certainly don't want to miss this.

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