New Yorkers will have to seek out dark sky away from city lights to get a good glimpse of the annual Leonid meteor shower.
One astronomer even suggests going to places like Coney Island along the waterfront between midnight and dawn on Nov. 17-18.
“Probably one of the better places to see the Leonids in the five boroughs is the ocean,” said Brian Abbott, assistant director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.
The Parks Department recommends the following locations for Leonids viewings:
-Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
-Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
-Marine Park, Brooklyn
-Owl’s Head Park, Brooklyn
-Inwood Hill, Manhattan
-Conference House Park, Staten Island
-Wolfe’s Pond Park, Staten Island
-Fort Totten, Queens
Meteor showers are the remnants of comets that appear to be “shooting stars” as they pass through Earth’s orbit. The Leonids are leftover from comet Tempel-Tuttle, though they radiate from the direction of constellation Leo to the east. But the shower won’t be confined to that patch of space. “They will come all over the sky,” he said.
The Leonids are known for colorful fireballs that persist longer than the typical streaks that meteors leave across the heavens, according to NASA. They are also known for “earthgrazer” meteors that travel near the horizon.
Abbott said the Leonids aren’t the most popular meteor shower because of the time of year. “It’s not the most comfortable to watch since it’s probably going to be chilly,” he said.
Temperatures could be in the low 30s, according to some forecasts.