Here’s Where You Can See the Leonid Meteor Shower This Weekend
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
This pre-Thanksgiving weekend will be a good time to wish upon a falling star.
Diminutive comet Tempel-Tuttle will cross Earth’s orbit Saturday and Sunday, spraying a vaporizing shower of debris into the surrounding atmosphere. The resulting stardust will look pretty great from our perspective here on earth, with about 10 to 15 meteors visible per hour throughout the weekend.
Tempel-Tuttle orbits our sun once every 33.3 years, and the annual Leonid meteor shower “season” takes place when Earth’s orbit crosses the comet’s orbit. The meteor shower is a result of tiny chunks of comet falling toward Earth’s surface. Air resistance from Earth’s atmosphere ignites the debris into the colorful, flaming balls of fire we call meteors.
According to CNN, the best time to witness meteor magic will be between midnight and dawn on both Saturday and Sunday. Urban dwellers will do best driving outside of town, away from the brightness pollution of city lights. While the Leonid meteor shower will send shooting stars across the sky all weekend, stargazers will get the best view Saturday morning around 3 am Eastern time, when the meteor shower peaks. And although the meteors are visible anywhere in the world, they will be clearer to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere.
Leonid gets its name from the constellation Leo, the Lion, as the space debris that forms the meteors comes from the stars in Leo’s mane. The bright, fast-moving chunks of Tempel-Tuttle move through space opposite or contrary to our orbital direction of motion, resulting in some of the fastest-moving meteors earth dwellers encounter. The Leonid meteors will appear across the sky as quick bursts of color, moving at a speed of 44 miles per second. Keep an eye out for “fireballs”, which are bright, large and can last longer than the average meteor. Meanwhile, “earthgrazers” will appear close to the horizon, identifiable by their long, colorful tails. If you’re looking to spot earthgrazers, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says you’ll want to face away from Leo.
Featured photo by Stephen Shaver/AFP/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees