Explained: What is Leonids Meteor Shower?

What is the news?

The annual Leonids Meteor Shower has begun and will be active between 6th and 30th November, with peak activity expected on 17th November.

What is the Leonids Meteor Shower?

Leonids Meteor Shower was originally discovered in 1833. It contains debris that originated from a small comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in the constellation Leo, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun. 

Every 33 years, a Leonid shower turns into a meteor storm, which is when hundreds to thousands of meteors can be seen every hour.

The Leonids are also called fireballs and earthgrazer meteors. Fireballs, because of their bright colors and earthgazer because they streak close to the horizon. 

Moreover, Leonids meteors showers are also some of the fastest that are seen on Earth travelling at speeds of 71 km per second.

What is a Meteor Shower?

When Earth encounters many meteoroids at once, we call it a meteor shower.

Can meteor showers inflict damage? The vast majority of meteors burn up long before they hit the ground, posing no threat to property or people. Occasionally, a small amount of material survives entry into Earth’s atmosphere and explodes above the planet’s surface.

Read More: What are Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites?

Source: This post is based on the article Explained: What is Leonids Meteor Shower?published in Indian Express on 11th November 2021.

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