Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Leonid Meteor Shower

Ocracoke Island is one of the best places to watch shooting stars. And tonight (and early Thursday morning) is one of the best nights to look for them. That is because Comet 55p/Tempel-Tuttle will be passing close to the earth. As it does, our planet intersects the path of the comet (and its past iterations). When particles of dust and debris associated with the comet (nearly always extremely tiny) pass through the earth's atmosphere (at more than 200 times the speed of sound) they are incinerated, leaving a visible trail of light as they streak across the sky. During the peak (late tonight and early tomorrow morning) observers may see as many as 60-100 shooting stars per hour. Because of a waxing gibbous moon, however, the number will likely be less.

By the way, this particular event is called the Leonid Meteor Shower because the shooting stars appear to radiate from the constellation Leo.

Maybe I'll see you out on the beach after dark this evening! If so, please give a wave.


Click on the photo below to view our selection of exquisite marquetry from Village Craftsmen's online catalog.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article, with a number of photos, documenting the history of water cisterns on Ocracoke Island. Click on the following link to go directly there:

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