DENVER, CO — We suggest you cue Katie Melua’s “Blame It On The Moon” when you’re searching the sky during the Leonid meteor shower, which peaks overnight Sunday and Monday. It will be bright and glaring, but skywatchers in Denver’s metro area may be able to work around it, depending on the weather forecast.
The National Weather Service is calling for a mostly clear sky in metro Denver during the meteor shower’s peak. Even under a moonlit sky, some of the brightest Leonid meteors should be visible. In typical years, they fly at a rate of about 10 or 15 an hour.
And here’s some good news as you’re bemoaning the waning gibbous moon: the bright sky won’t cause you to miss a rare and spectacular meteor storm. The Leonids are known for producing some of the most amazing meteor storms in history, but no such event is expected this year, according to meteor experts.
The best viewing times for the Leonid meteor shower are after midnight and before dawn. They radiate outward from the stars that make up the lion’s mane in the constellation Leo, but Bill Cooke, NASA’s meteor expert, told Space.com that skywatchers who stare directly at the radiant point may miss meteors that have longer tails.
Earthsky.org advises skywatchers to look away from the moon for the best chance to see Leonid meteors. You’ll also want to find a dark sky as far away as possible from city lights.