The Leonid Meteor Shower occurs annually in November. In 2022, the Leonids range from November 6 to December 2, with the peak late Thursday night on November 17 into Friday morning on November 18.
Expect about 10 to 15 meteors per hour with this particular shower. These shooting stars are also known to be brighter and sometimes colorful, partly because of how fast they move – around 44 miles per second! The shower is caused by the debris from Comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle, according to NASA.
VIEWING: The best time to catch the Leonids is midnight through 3am. Move away from city lights and find a nice open sky. Allow your eyes 30 minutes to get used to the dark. The radiant point is from the constellation Leo, hence the name, but you can look up anywhere in the sky to see the meteors.
MOON INTERFERENCE: Fortunately, we have a waning crescent moon, but with the third quarter (half moon) November 16, there will still be some light illuminated from it (the moon is about 37% illuminated on November 17). Moonrise in Little Rock is 1:05am and moonset is 2:14pm. Midnight is still prime time since the moon’s light won’t cause any interference as it will not have risen yet.
FORECAST: Mostly clear conditions will make it ideal for viewing in central and south Arkansas. More clouds and a few flurries are expected over north Arkansas. It will be cold and calm with temperatures in the low 30s by midnight through pre-dawn.
The next meteor shower is the Geminid Meteor Shower in December.