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Fwd = [UASR]> Near-Live Leonid Watching System

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl Originally from: [UASR] Perry J. van den Brink Original Subject: [UASR] Near-Live Leonid
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 1999
      Forwarded by: fwestra@...
      Originally from: "[UASR]>Perry J. van den Brink" <owner-uasr@...>
      Original Subject: [UASR]> Near-Live Leonid Watching System
      Original Date: 3rd Nov 99 7.34pm

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      Posted by : "[UASR]>Perry J. van den Brink" <owner-uasr@...>

      Forwarded from George Varros (gvarros@...)
      Subject: Near-Live Leonid Watching System

      In anticipation of "higher than normal" meteor activity
      during this November's annual Leonid Meteor Shower,
      NASA has created an image library and invites amateur
      astronomers, photographers and individuals with Single
      Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras or other imaging equipment,
      to upload their Leonid meteor photographs or images to
      the Near-Live Leonid Meteor Watching System.

      http://leonids.hq.nasa.gov/

      A Brief Background on the Leonid Meteors:

      Every 33 years, there is a higher probability that the
      Leonid Meteor Shower will turn into a meteor storm.
      This is caused by the parent comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle and
      its 33 year orbit around the sun, which nearly intersects
      that of Earth's. Fortunately, this occurs with Earth and
      the comet on different sides of Earth's orbit.

      As it approaches the inner solar system and is heated by
      the sun, the comet replenishes its path with tiny bits of
      material eroded away by the solar wind and radiation. As
      Earth travels in its path around the sun and encounters
      this debris stream, the small grains of material in this
      stream slam into Earth's upper atmosphere at a very high
      rate of speed becoming incandescent and leaving an ionized
      and luminous trail that we see as meteor or "falling star".

      On an average year, 15 to 20 Leonid meteors per hour can be
      seen, depending on your local viewing conditions. During a
      storm year, anything can happen as history has shown. The
      last major Leonid Meteor Storm occurred on November 16, 1966,
      peaking for observers in the mid-western United States. Hourly
      meteor rates were estimated to be as high as 144,000! Historical
      accounts dating back to the 1833 and 1866 Leonids are fascinating
      to read! The 1899 and 1932 Leonids were largely missed and it is
      suspected that Jupiter may have altered the meteor stream's orbit
      for those years. Studies also suggest 2000, 2001 or even 2002
      could be much better than normal years, with significantly higher
      meteor counts than normal years! The 1999 Leonid Meteor Shower
      is an event that has been long anticipated by the astronomy
      community.


      Predictions:

      The peak of the meteor shower or "storm component" has been
      predicted by the experts to interact with Earth some time between
      01:48 and 04:15 Universal Time, November 18, 1999. Observable
      hourly rates should be significantly higher than normal years,
      perhaps on the order of several hundred to several thousand per
      hour during the peak. However, it must be emphasized that the
      various components of a meteor shower, such as peak time and
      hourly rates are extremely hard to predict. The peak time can
      be off by several hours and recorded counts will certainly vary
      with local sky conditions, the moon and light pollution, visual
      obstructions and location on Earth.

      If the peak occurs during the earlier predicted time, Asia and
      Europe will be positioned favorably with the radiant high overhead.
      If it occurs a few hours past the later predicted time, the western
      portions of Europe and Africa, along with the East Coast of the
      United States, will be positioned favorably. This is certainly an
      event not to be missed and it would be well advised to look for the
      Leonids during the early morning hours of November 17th and November
      19th, due to the uncertainty.

      A Scenario For US East Coast Observers:

      The radiant or apparent area of origin of the meteors, in the
      constellation Leo, rises in the east shortly before midnight local
      time November 17th (November 18, 1999 05:00 Universal Time). No
      Leonid meteors should be expected to be seen prior to this due to
      the direction that the meteors travel. The moon will interfere with
      meteor visibility shortly after the radiant rises. It will be waxing
      gibbous or just past half full and will be setting around 1:00AM local
      time. It should be noted that the radiant does rise just after the
      predicted peak for US East Coast observers. However, if the peak, which
      is very hard to predict is a few hours late, the US will be able to
      observe the peak with the radiant higher in the sky!

      George Varros


      Posted by : "[UASR]>Perry J. van den Brink" <owner-uasr@...>
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