Archive for November 12th, 2010

Leonid Meteor Shower

Friday, November 12th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

It may surprise you to know that on average 11 meteor showers a year grace our night skies…and on November 17 the Leonid Meteor Shower reaches its peak.

05—The Leonid Meteor Shower is a shower that occurs every November.

Anita Cochran, the assistant director of the McDonald Observatory, explains this phenomenon.

11—It is the result debris left over from the passage of the Comet Temple Tuttle which comes past the sun and past the earth every thirty-three years.

Dust particles burning up in the earth’s atmosphere will create this year’s shower. Of course, the peak time for the shower is 3 p.m., not exactly prime viewing time; and then in the evening, a waxing Gibbous moon could create some light obstruction, too.

However, in 1833, the skies were dark and when the Leonid Meteor shower peaked, the skies rained down thousands of meteors an hour, causing some people to fear the end was near.

10—There are times when we go through, and it’s approximately every thirty three years, when we see a huge storm because we go through the peak of it. We might see hundreds of meteors per hour.

If you’re lucky, when you go out on the 17th, you’ll see a few meteors streaking through the night sky. If nothing else, you’ll get to spend some time outdoors in the still of the night…just you and the owls and coyotes.

That’s our show…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.