Leonid meteor shower 2021: How and when to see shooting stars in Portsmouth this week

The Leonid meteor shower will be visible in the skies over the south coast in the coming days.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 11:22 am
The Leonid meteor shower produces dozens of shooting stars.

Astronomers have said that the Leonid meteor shower will offer the chance of seeing a shooting star and a dazzling light show this week.

The Leonids, which offer one of the most 'prolific' showers, will include bright meteors that are commonly associated with the Tempel-Tuttle comet.

The radiant, which is the point where the meteors seem to stream from, is at the head of the constellation Leo the Lion, hence the name of Leonids.

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The light display is better when the comet is nearer to the earth as the comet takes 33 years to orbit the sun.

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However, Stargazers will have to wait 15 years for the next occurrence.

Here is everything you need to know about the meteor shower:

When will it take place?

The meteor shower will be best seen in the south as the forecast declares that it will be largely dry with variable cloud towards the end of the working week.

The best time to see the shower is between tomorrow and Thursday.

The shower will peak on Wednesday but it is said to be present for several days before and after, just at a lower rate.

According to Royal Museums Greenwich (RGM) the display will peak on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning between midnight and dawn.

How can I see the shower in Portsmouth?

Stargazers will know that hunting for a meteor shower is often a waiting game.

The Leonid meteor shower will be able to seen with the naked eye, so there is no need for binoculars or a telescope but you will need to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark.

The best conditions to see the shower is in a safe location away from streetlights and other sources of light pollution.

The best place to catch the shower in Portsmouth on a clear night is Portsdown Hill.

Meteor showers are best watched when there is a broad view of the night sky and Portsdown hill has a scenic view that overlooks the whole of Portsmouth.

The Leonid meteor shower usually produces dozens of shooting stars during its peak and this year’s shower will fall a few days before November's full moon (the Beaver Moon) which will take place on November 19.

What is the weather forecast?

According to BBC Weather, it will be partly cloudy with light winds on Wednesday night.

The light cloud may slightly block the view but over the course of the night, there will be plenty of opportunity to catch a shooting star.

The temperature will be around seven degrees on the night, so be sure to wrap up warm if you wish to see the meteor shower.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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