Monday, November 17, 2014
Leonids' Peak Early Tuesday Morning
Wow, what a timely coincident after launching my new book! Some of planet Man is falling on Earth tonight! Yeah, sure, whatever, they call it "Leonids", the dandruff from some old comet that needs head & shoulders shampoo really bad. Is that shampo still around? It never worked on my dandruff...drifting off the subject again.
To be truthful, I'm not saying that the Leonids is from planet Man. Man blew up a very long time ago and most of it has settled on planets and moons in the solar system by now. Still, there is Man dust and many Man chunks of meteors from Man, that are still flying around the solar system at god awful speeds that could incinerate Earth, if some of the larger pieces should hit this planet. Sam said, in his gangsta imitation voice, don't worry about it.
For those with unobstructed views of the night sky, the shooting stars can be really cool to see. Light up a joint and enjoy the cool colors... Did I just say that? I haven't smoked weed since I was an army dude, 40 some years ago. What I meant was, light up a bonfire, to ward off the bitter cold, like we have here in the midwest, and check out the night skies, you never know what cosmic wonders you might see. Like swamp gas or test dummies, or black ops triangle ships. Well, depending on where you are, and what the heck you been smoking. lol
The annual Leonid meteor shower will peak just after midnight Tuesday and will provide an enjoyable stargazing experience for viewers staying up late. The Leonids will not feature the fireballs of the Orionids or the sheer volume of the summer's Perseids, there will be about 10 to 15 meteors per hour, NASA reported.
"We’re predicting 10 to 15 meteors per hour. For best viewing, wait until after midnight on Nov. 18, with the peak of the shower occurring just before sunrise," Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, said in a statement. As with any shower, the best viewing occurs away from ambient light, which means getting away from the city and spending some time to find the constellation of Leo. A quick to way to find Leo is to look for Regulus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, the right "foot" of the lion, or find the lion's mane and shoulders, which form a question mark.
The Leonids gets its name from the constellation, but the debris trail left behind by Comet Temple-Tuttle. Each year, Earth passes through this stream and the small rocks burn up in the atmosphere. What makes the Leonids different from other meteor showers is the possibility of a huge outburst if Earth passes through a main debris trail. Comet Temple-Tuttle makes its way around the solar system every 33 years and if the Earth happens to collide with a stream full of debris it could lead to thousands of meteors per hour. The last great Leonids storms occurred in 1998, which averaged around 500 meteors per hour, and 1999, with reports of 1,800 meteors per hour. Most famously, the Leonid meteor shower of 1966 produced a "a 15 minute period where the Leonids produced an incredible 1,000 meteors per minute," notes Slooh.