Where Does the Leonid Meteor Shower Get Its Name From?


Quick Answer

The Leonid meteor shower is named after the constellation Leo because the shower occurs in the same region of the sky as the constellation appears. When it coincides with the comet P/Tempel-Tuttle passing close to Earth, the shower is at its strongest and may become a storm.

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Full Answer

The Leonid meteor shower occurs every year on or around November 19, and the Tempel-Tuttle comet's orbit takes it past the Earth every 33 years. The Leonids are reported as heaviest when the comet comes closest to Earth, as it did in 1866 when the comet was first discovered. The comet last passed the Earth in 1998, amplifying the Leonids into a meteor storm.

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