Leonid Meteor Shower
The Leonid meteor shower is an annual show produced by Mother Nature herself. It takes place every November, as our world moves through space, crossing the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, the parent comet of the Leonid meteor shower. Shooting stars appear in and round the constellation Leo, hence the name Leonid.
In 2017, the peak night of the shower is expected to start in the evening of November 18 through the next day's dawn, with as many as 20 shooting stars visible per hour. (There are times every 33 years or so when that many meteors cross the sky per second, but this isn’t one of those years. On the positive side however, the rather unobtrusive waning crescent moon won’t really dampen the view on the shower’s peak night.) The days before and after the peak might feature meteors as well, as we pass through the Leonid meteor stream in space.
If you’re interested in actually witnessing this once-year-treat, give the kids a nap and pack into the car for a late-night family adventure at Heckscher State Park from 11:30 pm to 1:30 am. (Ideal viewing times are midnight to dawn, so you’re right in the sweet spot.) Heckscher’s Family Adventure programs are ideal for children 5 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult. Program fees are $4 adult, $3 for children 3-17; children under 3 free. Reservations are required and will be accepted starting two weeks prior to the program; please call (631) 581-1072.