Leonid Meteor Shower of 2023

Away from city lights from 6th  November 2023 to 30 November 2023 people can witness the celestial spectacle of a Leonid Meteor Shower from pollution-free dark skies a few hours before the sun rises towards the East.

Leonid Meteor Shower: A meteor is a shooting star (layman’s Language), space dust about the size of a grain of sand. The dust hits the earth’s atmosphere and burns up in a blaze of light.

Where does space dust come from? Comets and asteroids pass through our solar system. These objects leave dust behind them. When the earth crosses through these dust clouds we see a meteor shower.
In the case of meteors originating from comets When a comet flies close to the sun, intense heat vaporizes the comet’s "dirty ice" resulting in high-speed jets of comet dust that spew into interplanetary space. When a speck of this comet dust hits Earth's atmosphere traveling at greater speed, it disintegrates in a bright flash of light—a meteor!

Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle – The source/Parent body of Material for this shower: The parent comet of this shower, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, passed its perihelion last in 1998, more than two decades ago now. Meanwhile, the comet has passed its aphelion; the next perihelion is only due on 2031 May 20. Meteoroids we observe now are ahead of the comet. The knowledge
of the dust ejection mechanisms and trail evolution allowed us to predict and verify variable activity in numerous years until recently.

Name – Leonid – Constellation of Leo: This Meteor shower is called “Leonid Meteor shower” because the location of the shower is radiant in the constellation Leo i.e the meteors or streaks of light appear to stream from, in the background of Leo constellation in the sky.

When is/was this meteor shower at peak: the IMO states "The (regular") nodal Leonid maximum should occur on 2023 November 18, 05h UT. Maslov (2007) gives November 17, 22h UT with an expected moderate rate of about 15. 

Where to Look and Best Time: the best time for observing this spectacle from India is after 2.30 am. when the constellation of Leo is sufficiently above in eastern horizon. One has to look towards the direction between North East and East Direction.

Society suggests observation from pollution-free dark clear skies away from city lights with good horizons for a splendid experience.

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