Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Leonid Meteor Showers at Peak

We are lucky to live where we do, for a number of reasons, but one big one is for the awe inspiring views of the night sky and the meteor showers we are blessed with from time to time. Being on the top of a mountain, mostly away from city lights, gives us the perfect perch from which to study the stars.

There isn't a night that goes by that we don't see a shooting star or two (and several satellites) if we happen to be outside but a few times a year we are treated to some spectacular displays. One of those displays is happening right now. The Leonids. The Leonid meteor showers get their name because they appear to come from the constellation Leo and they streak across the sky every year around this time. "The shower is caused by material left behind the comet Tempel-Tuttle when it passes near Earth's orbit during its regular trip through the solar system."

In years past we have seen some amazing fireballs race across the sky, leaving long,  shimmering tails in their wake. They are a sight to see.

"The annual Leonids should be at their best through Nov. 18, according to skywatching experts. Avid meteor gazers graced with clear skies may see between 15 and 20 meteors per hour.

"Skywatchers should look toward the constellation Leo in the eastern sky to see "shooting stars" from the Leonids, which appear to radiate out of the constellation. The best time to try to see the Leonids are in the last two or three hours before sunrise, when the moon has set."

One of these days I'll get the gear I need to do my own astrophotography but for now I'll have to settle for the above photos from Astronomy Picture of the Day.


Barb said...

Hi Lisa, I had no idea about this meteor shower. It's been so snowy , blowy, and cloudy here in Breckenridge the past few days, I can barely see beyond our deck!

becky said...

I have seen the Leonids once in the Desert, away from the lights on a camping trip.It was awesome. I'm in Oregon tonight & it's pretty cloudy w/ rain & snow in the forecast AND I don't think I'll stay up late enough to see them in all their glory... so enjoy!

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Alas, it was cloudy here, too Barb and Becky, so I didn't get to see them last night. There may be some stragglers tonight, though, so perhaps the weather will cooperate. The desert would be the perfect place to see a meteor shower Becky! And it's windy here today, too, Barb but unfortunately our snow got dumped in your neck of the woods on the other side of the divide. :(

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hey..this was a cool post! Sound like you get to see some great stuff where you live! Those are just neat! The second one is like one at the Emiloa Astronomy center over here..but it was back in May I guess that I visited? Check this link out (you may of seen this already) (
But I'm sure you'd enjoy the images..
Hope you have a great weekend Lisa-

Dianne said...

make sure to get written permission from the sky before taking photos of it!! hehehehehehe

beautiful world we live in, and we must keep seeing that

thanks Lisa

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Thanks, Regina! Those are amazing photos of Earth from the Space Station. . . It really puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hey..just wanted to say hello. How are you doing? Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (and I'm not repeating myself) lol))

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

No kidding, Dianne!

I did have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Regina! Had friends over and enjoyed the bounty we are blessed with. :) How about you?

Kilauea Poetry said...

Whats going on in your neck of the woods? We got our first snow fall this year but I haven't been ale to get away yet. I'm sure there will be more.
Regards, Regina-

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Hi Regina! I've been absolutely swamped and there is no end in sight until next year. Luckily that's not too far away. LOL!

How are you? You got snow? Really? How much? This is on the mountain, I'm assuming? I bet it's beautiful.

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