This coming Tuesday, the Leonid meteor shower will peak at 1 a.m. Sacramento time (so that means staying up super late on Monday night), and 20 to 30 meteors are expected to shoot across the sky every hour.
I’m really not a space nerd–the last time I watched a meteor shower was back in college days, and it was amazing. My friend and I drove out to these desolate fields (or maybe it was just to Orland?), and we laid on the hood of her car and watched the sky.
For Sacramentans, it might be worth heading up Highway 50 to Pollock Pines to escape the city light. (You don’t have to work on Tuesday, do you?)
One NASA official said one remarkable feature of this year’s shower is that Leonids will appear to be shooting almost directly out of Mars. You don’t even have to be a space nerd to find that a pretty spectacular notion.
P.S. Leonids are bits of debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle. According to an article I read, “Every 33 years the comet visits the inner solar system and leaves a stream of dusty debris in its wake. Many of these streams have drifted across the November portion of Earth’s orbit. Whenever we hit one, meteors come flying out of the constellation Leo.” How cool is that?!