Skywatch: Look for the Full Beaver Moon this week!

Skywatch: Look for the Full Beaver Moon this week!
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We will start the week with the Leonid meteor shower!

If you read last week’s Skywatch you may be thinking that it should have peaked on Saturday morning.

Here is the thing: the shower typically peaks on 11/17 or 11/18. So if you’re out early on Sunday morning look up for some meteors.

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Leftover debris from comet Tempel-Tuttle is responsible for the shower. Even though the moon is bright it sets in the wee hours of Sunday morning so you’ll have some time to view it under a moon-free sky.

If skies are clear get as far away from the city as you can for best viewing. Every so often the Lion roars and we don’t have a meteor shower, we see a meteor storm.

Back in 1966 the shower had reports of thousands of meteors per minute for a brief period during the shower’s peak. These storms seem to happen every 33 to 34 years so sadly this will not be one of those memorable years.

About 10-20 meteors an hour are expected at the shower’s peak. Look in the eastern sky for the constellation of Leo to find the shower’s radiant.

If you’ve been out in the evenings recently you may have seen a famous asterism that’s synonymous with the month of November. The Pleiades are also known as the Seven Sisters.

Technically this is not a constellation. This pattern of stars is known as an asterism. The cluster of stars is visible throughout the night and is high in the sky throughout the evening.

Watch the moon brighten this week as well. The Full Beaver Moon arrives on Friday at 12:39 a.m. Named so because this was the time of year to set beaver traps in order to get enough furs for the incoming winter. It’s also known as the Full Frost Moon. Happy hunting!