Meteor shower peaks early Tuesday morning, visible across Alaska

Perseid meteor and the Andromeda galaxy
Perseid meteor and the Andromeda galaxy(Peter Forister (CUSTOM_CREDIT) | Peter Forister)
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 1:29 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Clear skies usually mean cold temperatures during an Alaska winter but early Tuesday morning, they also mean a chance to see the Leonid meteor shower. You might have already seen a meteor or two. The Leonids are visible from Nov. 6 through Nov. 30, but they will peak on Tuesday morning. Prime viewing time is between 11:30 p.m. Monday to 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, once the Leo constellation gets high in the sky. Approximately 10-15 meteors per hour are expected.

All of Alaska has excellent viewing opportunities, depending on the weather.

The best way to view the Leonids is to dress properly for cold weather then get away from light pollution. Though meteors appear to radiate from the Leo constellation, the best way to see the meteors is to take in as much sky as possible as they will appear all over the sky. It can take a while for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, so give it a little time.

The meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through the dust and debris left behind by the Comet Tempel/Tuttle. When those bits of dust and rock hit Earth’s atmosphere, they disintegrate and create the bright “falling stars” that are visible from the ground. Comet Tempel/Tuttle takes 33 years to make one orbit around the sun.

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