How to watch the Leonid meteor shower in the UAE tonight

The full moon may affect visibility, but some meteors could still be spotted away from light pollution

One of the best meteor showers of the year will reach its peak this week, becoming visible in the UAE and many other parts of the world.

The Leonid shower occurs every year in November but this week is most visible from November 15 to 20.

If observed away from light pollution, about 10 to 15 meteors can be seen streaking across the skies when the shower is at its peak.

However, the brightness from the full moon could affect the visibility of the showers.

The meteors are leftover debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, becoming visible when the Earth passes very close to the comet’s orbit.

“One of the most famous meteor showers is known as the Leonids, so-called because their light trails all seem to originate from the constellation of Leo,” the European Space Agency said on its website.

“The Leonid meteors are associated with dust particles ejected from Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which pays periodic visits to the inner solar system once every 33 years.

“But roughly every 33 years, the Leonids generate a magnificent storm, when thousands of them illuminate the night sky. In recent times, the most memorable of these storms occurred in 1833, when tens of thousands lit up the heavens over North America.”

In December, the brightest meteor showers of the year will grace the UAE skies.

Geminids are known to be the most visible in many parts of the world, including the Emirates.

About 120 meteors per hour will shoot across the skies, as dust from the 3200 Phaethon space rock burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere, creating ‘shooting stars’.

Geminids meteor shower in the UAE — in pictures

Updated: November 17th 2021, 4:55 AM