Now I know that Mr. Ullrich's main blog already mentions this topic, but I wanted to find out more about it.
During today and tomorrow, it will be the best time this year to see the Leonid Meteor Shower. The best time to try to see it is in the last two or three hours BEFORE sunrise, when the moon has set. You might be able to see from about 15-20 meteors PER HOUR!
If you want to look at it, you should try looking toward the constellation Leo in the eastern sky. From there, you are able to see "shooting stars" from the Lenonids.
If you do decide to wake up that early to see it, make sure you are bundled up. Also, you might want a blanket or reclining chair so that you don't get a stiff neck.
If you'd like more information, I used Space.com. The link is: http://www.space.com/spacewatch/leonid-meteor-shower-peaking-now-101116.html
Questions: (These are easier to answer if you read the whole article)
1) Every few years, there are much more meteors than normal (from hundreds to thousands per hour). How often does this happen? If the last one was in 2002, when will the next one be (Hint: If you read the article, it tells you how many years are in between each)?
2) Is it easier to see the shower in/near the city or in the countryside? Why?
3) The article states that "The Leonid meteor shower is an annual event that returns every mid-November. The shower is caused by material left behind the comet Tempel-Tuttle when it passes near Earth's orbit during its regular trip through the solar system. "
If this is true then what would happen if the orbit changed? What would happen if it only passed near Earth's orbit every, say, 3 years?
4) Personal Opinion: Would you be willing to wake up that early just to see the shower that happens annually? Why or why not? If you would, would you want to see it every year or just once? If you wouldn't, would you at least want to look at photos and videos of it?
(My opinion is that I would see it once in a while. I'd see it and then once the memory starts to fade, I'd watch it again. That way it'll stay ingrained in my memory and I don't have to see it every year.)
If you'd like to see a short video of last year's meteor shower, visit this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/16/meteor-show-november-2009_n_359955.html
Here are some more pictures as well:
~Jess <3 [=