We're at that time of the year where the annual Leonid Meteor Showers are continuing and will peak later tonight and early Thursday Morning.
These meteors fall at a rate of 15 to 20 per hour during the peak, and are usually not too hard to see. As with all meteor showers, there are limiting factors that prevent them from being seen.
1) Getting outside the city limits and the ambient light that they bring.
2) Bundling up if you're going to be outside watching them. I recommend hot chocolate with extra marshmallows!
3) Moon Phase. Right now we're in a Waxing Gibbous, about 85% Full.
4) Weather... cloud cover totally can destroy what normally would be a great viewing night.
Right now, we're going to have some issues with a great viewing night. The moon is 85% full, but more importantly, I'm not quite sure that the clouds will completely break up for tonight. I think we'll get some gaps in the clouds, so viewing will be possible, but it won't be a completely clear sky.
With gaps in the clouds expected, keep in mind you'll want to be in dimly lit conditions before you go outside, so that your eyes are already adjusted to the dimmer lights that greet you outdoors. If you do this while inside, you'll be able to stay warm longer, before you venture out for the evening. You will also want to be looking eastward from our current location. (see image)
Picture taking of the Leonids is a very hard thing to do, but with the right equipment, they are possible to capture. Would never call out a fellow broadcast colleague and friend in my blog, but this is the type of night where my good friend Dave Kallaway may sneak a few shots when he heads into the WIFC studios early tomorrow morning. Again, not calling him out,,, I'm just sayin'..... LOL
Lemme know what you see out there. Here's 2 really good websites for looking for clouds tomorrow morning. The first is a close up of Wisconsin, and when it goes to IR viewing (after the sunsets tonight), you'll be looking for the whites on the map. Those will be the clouds.
This next link, is a US view, but has a few of the Shortwave IR Channels off, so that clouds show better, and thicker clouds show up in the "darker" greens and blues... while the Earth's heat (hence, no clouds) will show up as a warm color, such as orange.
You can find more information about the Leonids by visiting:
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