The Leonid meteor shower will be visible above Canada this weekend

Nov 11 2019, 8:01 am

Catching a glimpse of a meteor shower is definitely something many people want to experience at least once in their lifetime.

And for some lucky Canadians, that could become a reality this weekend.

According to The Weather Network, the “famous” Leonid meteor shower will reach its peak and will be visible overnight on Sunday, November 17.

This annual meteor shower is responsible for some of the most intense meteor storms in history, according to Space, and sometimes, meteors fall at rates as high as 50,000 per hour.

The Leonid meteor shower happens every year when Earth passes through a stream of debris left behind by Comet Tempel-Tuttle.

The comet makes its way around the sun every 33.3 years, leaving a trail of dust rubble in its wake and as Earth gets deeper into the stream, the number of meteors visible in the sky increases and reaches its peak on November 17.

When Earth’s orbit crosses this trail of debris, pieces of the comet fall toward the planet’s surface. Drag, or air resistance, in Earth’s atmosphere cause the comet’s crumbs to heat up and ignite into burning balls of fire called meteors.

Leonid Meteor Shower 2019

The best time to look in past years was before dawn around 3 am EST (0800 GMT) on the night of the peak, according to Jane Houston Jones of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Space said skywatchers may also be able to see some meteors on the days just before and after the peak, although the moon may obstruct views.

And while Leonids showers tend to be fairly minor, there are typically between 10 and 15 meteors per hour. So, be sure to check online to see when it will be visible in your part of the country.

Remember, optimal viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo but can appear anywhere in the sky.

So make sure to keep an eye out!