Leonid Meteor Shower 2018

Richard Kacerek
11 November 2018

Richard writes SEO optimised website copy for Sirius Copywriting company, and as a hobby, he founded UKMON in 2012.

The Leonid Meteor Shower peak activity is on 17-18 November 2018. Comet 55P/Tempel–Tuttle trail of debris through the Solar System is the cause of this annual meteor shower.

From the UK this meteor shower’s radiant does not get too high and a such we can expect only low numbers. Another factor will be the Full Moon which impacts the visibility of the meteor shower even further. Your best chances to observe The Leonid Meteor Shower would be during the predawn hours, or after the moon has set.

Sometimes, like in 1833, 1866, 1966, and 2001, Leonids shower can produce periodic storms, no Leonid storm is expected this year, unfortunately.

How many Leonid meteors will you see in 2018?

Very much depends on the time of your observation and your location. In the middle of a city, your chances are worse than winning a lottery. If you have access to a dark spot without disruptions like car headlights or street lamps, you can see up to 10-15 meteor per hour. In comparison, at 71/kms Leonids are one of the fastest meteor showers we can see. Faster than Perseids (58km/s) and Geminids (35km/).

Meteor shower speed graph

The Leonids are often bright meteors with a high percentage of persistent trains.

What do you need to see them?

Best way to observe meteors in general or any meteor shower is without any equipment, just your eyes. Simply find the darkest place you can, a local park or similar and look up. Dark Sky Discovery would help you find that best dark spot and be prepared to spend a couple of hours outside!

UKMON data

The UKMON meteor archive has only a small Leonid data pack. In six years of observations, we managed to gather 591 unified orbits of Leonids and just four fireballs. As our network and cameras density grows we hope to add to our archive.

Ground map of all recorded Leonid meteors in the UK

Leonid meteor shower orbit using UKMON data pack

Leonid meteor shower radiant using UKMON data pack

Recorded fireballs

Leonid meteor fireball from Clanfield

Leonid meteor fireball from Wilcot

Leonid meteor fireball from Ash Vale

Leonid meteor fireball from Clanfield

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