The Leonid Meteor shower will occur in the early morning hours of Sunday, November 17, 2019. Every 33 years this shower produces an extraordinary display. On November 17, 1966 many thousands of meteors showered down from the sky. It was estimated that the meteors fell that night at a rate of 25,000 per hour. Unfortunately, while my dad and brother were enjoying this spectacle in the sky, I was sound asleep in my bed.
The next opportunity to see this came on November 17, 1999, 33 years later. My alarm was set for 4:00 am but I wasn’t too hopeful as it was raining hard at bedtime. Upon awaking I stepped outside and noticed a large opening in the clouds and I could see the stars shining through. Then I noticed a meteor streak across the sky, followed by another and then another.
Alerting my family we spread out a tarp and blanket on the moist lawn and turned our eyes towards the sky. For about an hour we watched as meteors streaked across the sky about every 10 seconds. We watched until the clouds moved in and covered the sky. We estimated we had seen about 600 meteors that early morning, far short of the 1966 display, but satisfying never the less.
This year you may be able to see about 15 meteors per hour looking eastward in the morning sky towards the constellation Leo.