Shooting stars or meteors are a phenomenon that can be seen throughout the year and that causes great expectation both in children and adults, especially if it can be seen more easily, intensity and quantity. This is what happens at certain times of the year, when the famous star showers occur.
This year, the rain of Leonidas can be seen from last November 6 until the 30th of the same month. But nevertheless, Its maximum will be this weekend, the night of November 16 to 17.
However, this time the Leonids are going to see with difficulty, since "for the next few days, fronts coming from high latitudes are foreseen, so there will be rains in the areas of the Cantabrian and, in general, the skies are going to be cloudy", says Natacha Payà, climatologist and collaborator of Tiempo.com. He adds that" there will not be much variation compared to last year "and that" they will be very modest, they will not be seen in a lot. "e calculates that it will be between 10 and 20 meteors per hour.
Tips not to miss the rain of stars
The first thing to do to enjoy this show is to get away from the places of greater light pollution, that is, of the cities. Thus, we must look for a dark place, without artificial light, such as a rural area or simply the countryside. Secondly, it is preferable to place yourself on an esplanade, a place without buildings or trees that cover our visual field, since this way we can contemplate the sky with greater distance and thus increase the chances of seeing meteors.
The problem that Payà points out this year is that light pollution will not only occur artificially, but that Leonidas rain will occur when "the Moon is beginning to diminish, which will hinder its visibility." Thus, the climatologist advises to observe them "during the early hours of the night, before the moon rises completely".
Some curiosities of the meteor shower
Although this weekend we will be able to see the rain of Leonidas, the expert points out that this phenomenon "can be seen in a way most shocking every 33 years"." The last one took place in 1998, so it won't happen again until 2031. "
Although the Leonids are well known, it points to three other star showers They leave a much more intense show, up to 120 meteors per hour. "The following will be the Geminids, between December 1 and 17, by comet Phaeton. "Then, in January, we can observe" the Quadrantids, thanks to comet C / 1490 Y1 "and, later," in August, the Lost, caused by comet 109P / Swift-Tuttle. "
Another curiosity highlighted by the expert is the difference between meteorites and meteors (Shooting Stars). Thus, he explains that "meteors are remains that a comet leaves in its path and that follow the same orbit and, when the translation movement coincides with the accumulation of these remains, they enter our atmosphere and disintegrate, so they do not arrive to the earth". On the contrary, meteorites do not completely disintegrate, so they do reach the surface of the planet.