Leonid Meteor Shower 2010: Peaks November 17
Leonid Meteor Shower 2010: Best Time to See the Leonids
It's Leonid time again! The Leonid Meteor shower occurs annually, when the Tempel-Tuttle comet passes through Earth's orbit. The debris left by Tempel-Tuttle enters Earth's atmosphere as the Leonid Meteor Shower. The peak time to watch the Leonid Meteor Shower is... now. November 16-18. Try to get away from sources of light pollution so you can see more meteors.
When you watch the Leonid Meteor Shower, you won't need a helmet or goggles: none of the meteorites are big enough to hit the ground. So no worries about recreating any scenes from Men in Black. This would not be the case if you lived on the Moon, though, as the Leonids strike the lunar surface directly.
Space.com suggests that you dress warmly, and also wants you to look good for the meteors:
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.
Listen to the Leonid Meteor Shower
You can not only watch the Leonid Meteor Shower, but also listen to it. The ionized air left behind the falling meteoroids cause FM radio waves to divert, and the signal gets altered. This occurs once the meteor shower drifts over the horizon, as FM signals are line-of-sight.
On the FM band, you stand the best chance of success by monitoring the low-end of the band, below 91.1 MHz. Thats because most low-power stations are found there, generally free of local interference from the higher-power commercial stations that are found farther up the dial.
"I think the FM broadcast band would be best for most people, if they can find a clear frequency, preferably near the low end of the band," says long time amateur radio operator, Shelby Ennis (W8WN) of Kentucky. "A small external antenna would help."