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2017 Leonid Meteor Shower

In 2017, the Leonids will peak during the night of November 17 and the early morning of November 18.

Illustration image

The Leonids peak around mid-November.

The shooting stars from the Leonids can be seen in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.

©iStockphoto.com

We suggest you try your luck after midnight during the night between Thursday, November 17 and Friday, November 18.

The Leonid meteor shower is annually active in the month of November and it usually peaks around November 17 or 18. The shower is called Leonids because its radiant, or the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from, lies in the constellation Leo.

The Leonids occur when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The comet takes around 33 years to make one orbit around the Sun.

You can see about 20 meteors an hour when the the Leonids meteor shower reaches its peak of activity.

Where to View the Leonids

The Leonids can be seen by viewers from both hemispheres.

Illustration image
Look towards the constellation Leo.
The meteor shower is called Leonids because the meteors seem to emerge from the constellation Leo.

While it is not necessary to look in any particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower, astronomers suggest lying down on the ground and looking at the sky between the East and the point right above you to view the Leonids.

When to View the Leonids

The best time to view the Leonids is after dark.

Location in the Sky

The Leonids meteor shower is not visible at this time of year. The best date is around Nov 17, 2017; the table below is for that date:
Leonids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between Nov 17 and Nov 18)
TimeAzimuth/DirectionAltitude
Sat 12:00 midnight69°East-northeast8.9°
Sat 1:00 am77°East-northeast20.0°
Sat 2:00 am86°East31.5°
Sat 3:00 am96°East43.2°
Sat 4:00 am108°East-southeast54.7°
Sat 5:00 am127°Southeast65.1°
Sat 6:00 am160°South-southeast72.2°
Note: times are for Nov 17, 2017.
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How to Watch Meteor Showers

  • Check the weather: Meteors, or shooting stars, are easy to spot. All you need is clear skies and a pair of eyes.
  • Get out of town: Find a place as far away as possible from artificial lights
  • Prepare to wait: Bring something to sit or lie down on. Star gazing is a waiting game, so get comfortable.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, November, Comets

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Meteor Showers Library

  1. October 2016: Orionids
  2. November 2016: Leonids
  3. December 2016: Geminids
  4. December 2016: Ursids
  5. January 2017: Quadrantids
  6. April 2017: Lyrids
  7. May 2017: Eta Aquarids
  8. August 2017: Perseids
  9. October 2017: Draconids

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