Discover the Best Times and Places to Watch

Top Astronomy Events for November 2023

Get ready for a close encounter of Jupiter and a spectacular meteor shower this November as we highlight the key astronomy events for this month.

It’s that time of the year, meteor lovers! The annual mid-November treat is almost here. The peak of the Leonid meteor shower will grace the night sky on November 17-18, 2023. This dazzling display happens when the Earth passes through the debris field left behind by the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. Under a dark sky after the moon has set, you might catch a glimpse of 10 to 15 meteors per hour, EarthSky reported. The Leonids appear to originate from the constellation Leo the Lion and are visible all across the sky.

When is the Leonid meteor shower? The Leonids have been active since November 3 and will continue until December 2. To witness the shower’s peak, make sure to watch late on the night of November 17 until dawn on November 18. The morning of November 17 might be worthwhile too, according to EarthSky’s Deborah Byrd.

What is the Leonid meteor shower? These meteors are made up of tiny pea- and sand-size bits of dust and debris breaking off the Tempel-Tuttle comet as it passes by the Earth. As comets orbit the sun, they leave dust behind in their orbits, creating meteor showers as the Earth crosses these dust trails.

Where are the Leonids visible? According to postdoctoral researcher Theodore Kareta, observers should look towards the east from a dark sky location such as national forests and state parks.

Fortunately for skywatchers, the Leonids are known for being bright meteors with a high percentage of persistent trains, according to the American Meteor Society. And they’ve had quite a history. Some of the most spectacular meteor showers have been the Leonids, with rates as high as 100,000 meteors per hour observed in previous years, making it a must-watch event.

When is the next meteor shower? After the Leonids, don’t worry—there will be two more meteor showers in 2023. The Geminids from November 19 to December 24, peaking on December 13-14, and the Ursids from December 13-24, peaking on December 21-22.


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