Leonid Meteor Shower 2010: UK & Australia?

The Leonids come every year in November, when the Earth passes through a cloud of debris trailing a comet.
They say the best viewing dates for this year's Leonid meteor shower will be Wednesday and Thursday, with the official peak occurring on Wednesday at midday in North America, a time slot that favors observers in Asia.
But what about the UK and Australia? I live in Australia and my brother is currently visiting family in the UK. We talked about the Leonid shower and I have no idea when is the best time to watch the meteor shower here.

What is the ideal time to watch the Leonid meteor shower in Australia and the UK?

asked by Constellation in Astronomy & Space | 2470 views | 11-17-2010 at 06:32 PM

It appears the UK will miss the two predicted meteor shower peaks which occur on November 17 at around 0900 UTC and the other around 2200 UTC. You might get a better chance with the second Leonid Meteor Shower peak though it will be mid evening there at that time and the location of the UK with respect to the position of the Earth is not as favorable as over eastern Asia.
I don't know about Australia.

While it can't compete with last year's spectacular display, this year's Leonid Meteor Shower still promises excitement.
The Leonids, the meteor shower associated with Tempel-Tuttle, returned on November 10 and will last until around November 23. The peak of the shower is next Wednesday morning, November 17.

Each time comet Tempel-Tuttle gets closest to the Sun in its orbit, called “perihelion,” it sheds a significant amount of material. This creates clumps along its orbit. If Earth passes through one of these clumps this year, viewers could see hundreds of meteors per hour at the shower’s peak. If Earth simply passes through the “normal” part of the comet’s debris trail, the number of meteors visible will be much lower.

Watching a meteor shower is actually pretty easy. All you need is a big view of the open, dark sky — the fewer trees, buildings and lights the better — and something comfortable to relax on like a beach chair (the kind that opens up so you can lie on it).

NASA also recommends getting as far away from city lights as possible, not using any binoculars or telescopes, and lying on the ground to watch as much of the sky as possible.

If we do get lucky with the weather, look for a dark place to watch the Leonid Meteor Shower. Urban light pollution will wash out all bu the brightest meteors. The meteors will appear to radiate away from the constellation Leo (the direction of the Earth's current motion along its orbit), high over head in the hours before dawn. So you can spread out on the grass or stretch out on a lounge chair and look in just about any part of the sky.

answered by Portal | 11-17-2010 at 06:34 PM

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