Leonid Meteor Shower 2009: Times and Dates
The Leonid Meteor Shower will be visible on November 17 at 3:30am EST, and again in the evening of November 18. Viewers in Asia and India will have the best seats in the house, though, as strong meteor activity is expected during the early morning of November 18 for those in that part of the world. The Leonid Meteor Showers is believed to be the result of debris from the Tempel-Tuttle comet. The tiny particles hit our atmosphere at great speed, burning briefly but brightly before disintegrating.
Alas, if you're based in Europe or Africa, you won't get to see much of the Leonid Meteor Shower, since it will be occurring during daylight in that part of the world.
The Leonid radiant is within the so-called "Sickle" of Leo; a backwards question-mark pattern of stars that outlines the head and mane of the constellation Leo, the Lion. Hence the meteors are known as "Leonids."
I like these preparation tips for proper meteor-viewing:
No two observers prepare for a meteor vigil the same way. It helps to have had a late afternoon nap, a shower, and to wear all fresh clothing.
It's worth pointing out that you won't be meeting the meteors personally, so if you wear yesterday's jeans, nobody will care. Bring a warm blanket and something warm to drink... and your camera. For those of us in Vancouver, the forecast is for rain (surprise!), so we may be relying on the rest of the world for Leonid meteor photos.