As the Earth revolves around the Sun while also revolving around its own axis, it passes through patches of cosmic bodies. The outcome are meteor showers which can light up the night skies from dusk to dawn. Some people are lucky enough to get to observe such a show.
The Leonids are some of the most stunning meteor showers and they produce a meteor storm every once in a few decades, and sometimes, a number of up to a thousand meteors can be observed in an hour. However, the last time such a great number of asteroids were visible was back in 2002.
The parent comet is named “Comet-Temple / Tuttle“ and it completes a revolution around the sun every 33 years.
The next Leonids shower
The next Leonids shower that might be observable will be active between November 6 and November 30, and the show will culminate in the night of November 17-18.
Source of the meteor showers
The show that we call a meteor shower consists of an icy comet’s leftovers that enter our planet’s atmosphere. As comets advance their journey through the solar system, they mark their path with a dusty trail of rocks and ice which persists for a long time. When our planet enters these areas of comet waste, the small debris pieces enter Earth’s atmosphere so violently that they combust, leaving behind a beautiful firework – like show.
One interesting detail about the showers is that what we see every once in a while aren’t the freshest remnants of a comet’s most recent orbit. Instead, the ignited bits are actually traces of precious passes.