Published: Sun, November 19, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Here's how to watch the Leonid meteor shower in SLO County

Here's how to watch the Leonid meteor shower in SLO County

You can see it Friday night from midnight to dawn Saturday morning November 17 and 18.

Still, the meteor shower that results from material left behind by passages of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle is known for its bright fireballs, so it may be well worth the patience required this year to see one. As comets draw near the sun in their elliptical paths around our star, they shed bits of ice and dust; these particles burn up when they collide with Earth's atmosphere, heating the air to form the dazzling streaks of light that people on the ground see when they look up.

If you get any good pictures I'd love to see them.

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This year, the best nights to see are November 17 and 18.

Stargazers will be able to view an wonderful sight this weekend as the Leonid meteor shower will be visible thanks to peak viewing conditions. And, luckily, there's no moon to spoil the show.

Where in the sky should I be looking?

However, they should be visible pretty much across the sky.

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The best times for viewing are between 3am and sunrise - and the best place, of course, is as far away from ambient light pollution as possible. With more eyes on the skies, you'll be able to catch the speedy space rocks, the largest of which are around 0.3 inches (10 mm) and move at 72 kilometers per second (161,000 mph).

The Leonids are named for the point in our sky from which they appear to radiate. Just have a look at this photo that astronaut Ron Garan tweeted from the International Space Station in August 2011, during the Perseid meteor shower. This shower gets its name from the constellation Leo, because these meteors radiate outward from the stars of the Lion's mane. You do not need a telescope or binoculars.

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