With Every Planet Visible This Week And Leonid Meteor Shower Shooting Fireballs, It's Time to Get Out the Telescope
Between November 16th and 21st, one can see the height of this year's Leonid meteor shower and all seven planets in the night sky.
Culture & Entertainment
For those who like to gaze at the night sky, this week there will be a lively show as the Leonid meteor stream, as well as all seven planets, will be visible throughout the night—the lack of a strong moon helping immensely to see everything.
Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the early night, between the 18th and the 21st, all throughout the Northern Hemisphere, as well as Mars, Neptune, and Uranus.
The Leonid meteor shower will be extra-visible tonight, with peak showers predicted for Tuesday the 17th before dawn, all across the world.
In this period, Venus and Mercury will be bright enough to see in the early mornings.
These events mark a celestial anniversary, as Jupiter and Saturn, visible side-by-side in what astronomers call the Great Conjunction, a phenomenon that happens once every 20 years around the winter solstice of December 21st, are joined by all the other planets of our solar system.
Earth Sky publishes daily stargazing guides, and this one will help you locate Jupiter and Saturn, as well as its rings, as they near their conjunction. This one will help you see Mercury and Venus.
As the planets revolve around the sun in their long orbits, occasionally they will all bunch up for some weeks before spreading out again. It’s not rare, only infrequent.
How to watch the meteors
Sighting the Leonid meteor shower is a yearly occurrence. Centered around the comet Tempel-Tuttle that takes about 33 years to fully orbit Earth, it’s named for the constellation Leo—as the point in the sky where most of the meteors streak from is around the mane of the lion constellation.