RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A meteor shower known for occasional “meteor storms” peaks Monday night into Tuesday morning.
The Leonid meteor shower is well known because it occasionally produces outbursts of several hundred meteors per hour. The last time this happened was in 2002.
Astronomers do NOT expect 2020 to be an outburst year for the Leonid meteors. In dark rural locations with clear skies, you may see 15 to 20 meteors per hour (which works out to one meteor every three to four minutes in a best case scenario).
If you want to attempt to see the Leonid meteor shower this year, go outside Tuesday morning November 17th before sunrise and look to the southeast. On the bright side, the sky is expected to be perfectly clear over Central Virginia Monday night into Tuesday morning.
If you want to pass on the Leonid meteor shower, a MUCH better meteor shower is expected in less than a month when the Geminid Meteor Shower peaks on December 13-14.
Leonid meteor storms happen in years when Earth passes through a dense patch of debris left behind by comet Temple-Tuttle. This is not expected to happen again until 2031 - and there is some doubt about whether a meteor storm is going to happen that year.
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