You can watch the famous November Leonid meteor shower rain down live, regardless of your area’s viewing conditions, thanks to the Slooh Community Observatory’s online webcast tonight 16 november.
The Leonid meteor shower arises each year as the Earth passes through bits and pieces left in the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle.
Last time the comet passed perihelion in 1998, and will return again only in 2031.
The shower is most famous for some remarkable outbursts of meteors in the past. The great Leonid meteor storm of 1833 was perhaps the most spectacular in recorded history.
Visible from eastern North America, the storm produced as many as 200,000 meteors per hour, startling some 19th-century observers into near-catatonic terror. The storm lasted nearly four hours. According to astronomer Agnes Clerke, “the frequency of meteors was estimated to be about half that of flakes of snow in an average snowstorm”.
Broadcast from a private observatory in the Canary Islands, on the cloudy weather did not overtake the observer by surprise.
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