Stunning line of planets; and Aldebaran Occultation

 The sky above Tucson.

I always write about three usually good meteor showers every year: the Perseids in August, the Leonids in November and the Geminids in December.

There are many other meteor showers, but on average they do not have as many bright meteors as the Perseids, Leonids or Geminids.

The Leonids this year are predicted to be best early Friday, Nov. 17 . They generally are ideal after midnight and should be good as well on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

A meteor shower is caused by the Earth crossing the path of a comet which leaves tiny bits of sand-like debris along its path.

When the Earth encounters this debris, many meteors are produced as the debris hits the Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds. During a meteor shower, most of the meteors appear to come from a point in the sky. This point or “radiant” is in the constellation for which the shower is named.

Even though the Leonids radiate from Leo the Lion, they can be seen across the sky, and it is not necessary to look at Leo to see lots of meteors. Leo will be completely above the horizon by 2 a.m.

Get out a good lawn chair, face it toward the east, bundle up well and lean back and enjoy the show with hot chocolate, coffee or tea.

Contact Tim Hunter at