Leonid Meteor Shower 2018 To Reach Peak This Weekend

The Leonid meteor shower. Credit PA

The Leonid meteor shower. Credit PA

But you don't need to look in the direction of the constellation, because the meteors will appear all across the sky.

Late Saturday into early Sunday will be the best time frame to view the 2018 Leonid meteor shower, according to Kenneth Brandt, the director of the Robeson Planetarium.

The Leonids are known for being prolific, bright meteor storms with up to 100,000 meteors that whiz through the sky at every hour.

While some wondered if they'd witnessed an alien invasion, NASA was quick to confirm that the fireball was a meteor that most likely came from the North Taurid meteor shower. It is not predicted that we will get a "meteor storm" this year, but this shower has surprised us in the past - with some fireballs! The meteors appear to fly away from a point located within the Sickle of Leo (hence the name "Leonids").

The Leonid shower should be visible in some parts of the UK tonight. Credit PA
The Leonid shower should be visible in some parts of the UK tonight. Credit PA

Dr Mason said a much more spectacular display is due over the United Kingdom with the Geminids meteor shower due on December 13. Be sure to check online to see when it will be visible in your part of the world.

Note that the Leonids - a meteor shower is the second of the month, which reaches its maximum activity 17, 18 November. If estimates hold, people in rural areas with little light pollution should be able to see about 15 meteors per hour under good weather conditions. Although such an event has been associated with the Leonid meteor shower before, the last storm event happened in 2001. It's better to find a spot with as broad a view of the night sky as possible, lay back, let your eyes adjust to the darkness and just look up.

Earlier on Thursday evening, viewer Genny Skrobanek says she saw a meteor in the skies over San Antonio that "was a handsome green color".

Displays are better when the Tempel-Tuttle comet, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun, is closer to the Earth, an occurrence which is next due in about 15 years' time.

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