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Leonids Peak on Clear, Dim Tuesday-Wednesday Stretch

[CREDIT: NASA/Ames Research Center/ISAS/Shinsuke Abe and Hajime Yano] A burst of 1999 Leonid meteors as seen at 38,000 feet from Leonid Multi Instrument Aircraft Campaign (Leonid MAC) with 50 mm camera during the Leonids peak.

[CREDIT: NASA/Ames Research Center/ISAS/Shinsuke Abe and Hajime Yano] A burst of 1999 Leonid meteors as seen at 38,000 feet from Leonid Multi Instrument Aircraft Campaign (Leonid MAC) with 50 mm camera.
[CREDIT: NASA/Ames Research Center/ISAS/Shinsuke Abe and Hajime Yano]
A burst of 1999 Leonid meteors as seen at 38,000 feet from Leonid Multi Instrument Aircraft Campaign (Leonid MAC) with 50 mm camera.
WESTERLY, RI—Rhode Islanders can catch the Leoonid Meteor Shower Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning during the Leonids peak, and in a rare fall Rhode Island confluence of heavenly spectacle and meteorological luck, the evenings during and immediately after will be clear for sky gazers.

So get your blankets ready and limber up your neck for  the show as Earth’s orbit crosses the trail of debris left behind by Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, according to EarthSky.org.

Interested meteor watchers should focus their viewing between midnight and dawn, and get as far away from city and town lights as possible. The Frosty Drew Observatory inside Ninigret Park in Charlestown is the best spot in the state for stargazing with the least light pollution, though there isn’t an official viewing event scheduled until a few days after the peak, on Friday. Some meteors may still be visible then, but the observatory is only billing views of Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, nebulae, star clusters, binary stars, and, eventually Mars Friday night.

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Light pollution is minimal, and natural light reflected from the Moon will not be a significant impediment to viewing, as the Moon will be a waxing crescent during the Leonids shower’s peak

Tips to watch for the Leonids

Dress warmly:

If you do venture toward Frosty Drew, first read up on how to dress for the cold like the Frosty Drew astronomers do.

When to view: 

Start craning your neck just before midnight Monday, Nov 16.  and through 2 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Tips: 

  • Bring a blanket and something to prop your head up as you watch for meteors.
  • Remember, state parks close at dusk, so while those areas are far from light pollution, you won’t be able to go in.
  • This is a good night to let the other guy drive so you can just look up.
  • If you see a very slow, bright object sailing across the sky, it’s either a satellite or a Space Station.
Rob Borkowski
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Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.