Leonid Meteor Showers

Greg D

Auditioning
Joined
Nov 26, 2000
Messages
14
Anyone planning on watching the skies Sun. and Mon. night? There probably won't be a better meteor storm for another 100 years or more. Check out this link for details:
http://www-space.arc.nasa.gov/~leonid/index.html
Last year was a bust for me due to heavy cloud cover. But 1999 was another story, with lots of huge fireballs racing across the sky. If the predictions are anywhere close to being accurate, we're in for a real show, especially for people on the West Coast.
 

Bob McLaughlin

Screenwriter
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Aug 14, 2000
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Real Name
Bob
I'm too lazy to read all that...which direction should I face when meteor-hunting? (don't say "up"!)
 

Jassen M. West

Supporting Actor
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Jun 22, 2000
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526
this is great!! i'll be camping out for a nintendo gamecube and i get a free show thanks to mother nature. lol
---jay
 

Liam S

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Aug 14, 2001
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85
As long as the weather is good, I'll be at my university's observatory watching.
Bob, look to the southeast at around 4:30-5:30am Sunday the 18th. They'll be coming from the constellation Leo.
 

Mark Dubbelboer

Screenwriter
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Oct 6, 1999
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3am sunday eh....yikes...oh well i'll be there
I'm totally an amateur, who just likes looking up at the sky as a form of relaxation. Can anyone recommend any good books or other publications for a newbie looking to get a bit more involved?
thanks,
Mark
 

Dennis Reno

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
862
I plan on watching. Unfortunately I live in a condo development that has more lights than the Vegas strip so I think I may head over to my in-laws. Go out on the dock with a nice hot cup o' java and watch the show.
So far the weather looks good for SE Michigan...
 

Joseph Young

Screenwriter
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Oct 30, 2001
Messages
1,352
I plan on catching this event, even if it means getting little to no sleep Sunday night. These events are rare opportunities to see natural phenomena just as dazzling as any special effect.
For past meteor showers, I usually trekked up to the foothills above the light pollution in silicon valley and had no problems seeing the show!
According to the literature on the Leonid Meteor Shower, you should be facing east at approximately 1 AM PST. The heaviest portion of the shower should take place around 2 AM. Most of the meteors I've seen have blazed directly above my head or up to 45 degrees below that.
Joseph
 

Jon_Are

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2001
Messages
2,036
Just found this passage from the link Mark suggested and thought it was worth posting:
Lose your ego. Astronomy teaches patience and humility -- and you'd better be prepared to learn them. There's nothing you can do about the clouds blocking your view, the extreme distance and faintness of the objects you desire most, or the timing of the long-anticipated event for which you got all set up one minute late. The universe will not bend to your wishes; you must take it on its own terms.
Most of the objects within reach of any telescope, no matter how large or small it is, are barely within its reach. Most of the time you'll be hunting for things that appear very dim, small, or both. If flashy visuals are what you're after, go watch TV.

Jon
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Greg D

Auditioning
Joined
Nov 26, 2000
Messages
14
Jon_Are,
When it comes to meteor showers I'd have to disagree with the skypub.com comment, "If flashy visuals are what you're after, go watch TV."
Everyone I know who has seen a good Persied meteor shower, with its 50 to 60 meteors an hour has been impressed. No one should miss the chance to see as much as 1,000 to 3,000 meteors an hour. I don't know about you, but I'd call that flashy visuals.
What's more, knowing that I'm watching objects that are mostly the size of a grain of sand, racing 60 miles above where I'm standing at 44.5 miles a second, is pretty impressive.
Of couse, if you prefer to watch TV, tune into NASA TV for a 6-hr broadcast beginning 30 minutes past midnight EST on Nov. 18th.
 

Mark Dubbelboer

Screenwriter
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Oct 6, 1999
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Dammit....
three hours till "blastoff" and it's cloudy, cloudy, cloudy here. It's windy every single day of the year except today, something's gotta get rid of these clouds and fast. and my freakin' gf is out of town so we were going to watch them together over cell phones...how lame is that
hey thanks for the link there John, it's kinda funny when i posed my question i was gonna say that i was a 20yr old fascinated by the starts....looks like that guy beat me to it
 

Jon_B

Screenwriter
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Nov 27, 2000
Messages
1,025
Just came in from outside and it looks like it's going to snow.
It's cold and there are clouds everywhere. No show for me.

Jon
 

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,582
WOW! That was work staying up for - those things were HUGE! I've seen meteor showers before, but not like that. They were 20-45° on the big ones. I was out for an hour or so, and saw quite afew. They weren't coming every second, but every minute or two there'd be a pretty decent one.
Thanks for pointing this out in here, or I would have missed it.
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Scott H

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 9, 2000
Messages
693
Stood around for about an hour amongst the L.A. light pollution, in the Studio City area, but we saw many meteors. Pretty big ones with vibrant bluish trails about every two minutes, probably an average of five or so others visible each minute. Though it is a clear and crisp night in L.A., considering how many are visible here it should be a real spectacle in more rural areas.
Btw, they were radiating from almost due east. I did see one unrelated oddball streak to the northeast though.
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Ashley Seymour

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 29, 2000
Messages
938
Just got back from the show. Very impressive! It is 3:45 a.m. Mountain Time. I saw a few in from my back yard, but because my view of the sky is restricted by a lot of trees, and some local valley clouds I headed 12 miles south of town and got a good spot with no trees. We call it the desert here, but just flat land with sage brush. Not that I was alone. Dozens of cars passed my spot on a dirt road that runs out a few miles from where I parked. Rather irritating because of the car lights, but I did the same to those I passed by so I had no reason to complain. I parked just south of the railroad and had a couple of freight trains pass.
The temperature wasn't bad, in the 40's with no wind. I stood outside the car, smoked my cigar and listened to the Coast to Coast show on the radio. They had a report from a NASA KC-135 that was orbiting over Oklahoma. The Air Force sergeant reported about one streak about every 5 seconds. When I got out of my car I was getting a little less, but they were all over the sky. I faced southeast, but then when I would look north toward the Big Dipper there would be streaks there. Some were way down on the southern horizon, so the figures from the plane were about right. I counted for an hour and totaled about 300. My neck got sore so I left.
As I was driving north toward home I could see streaks visible even with the glare of the city lights. Then in my back yard I watched for a few minutes and counted a handfull more
The most impressive meteor show I have ever seen. Many looked like the fireworks on the fourth of July. Not the explosion, but the streaks.
I have been looking forward to the show for about three years. There were supposed to have been good shows over the last three years, but here there was always overcast or something.
It had rained here all day. Boise State played San Jose State in town today and it rained for the whole game. As soon as the game was over the sun came out and I know there would be a good chance for a clear night.
It was worth staying up. Hope a lot more people around the country got to see the show.
[Edited last by Ashley Seymour on November 18, 2001 at 04:54 AM]
 

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