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.
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
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.
- 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.