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Leonids 2001

 

    The sky may provide us with an early holiday gift this year: a possibly very strong meteor shower! I would consider this the "must- see" astronomical event of 2002. In fact, this is the strongest meteor shower predicted for many years.

THE EVENT: Possibly Strong Meteor Shower
 
WHEN:  November 19, sometime between 4 and 5 a.m. (CENTRAL TIME!!!!) (technically the morning of the 19th) 
 
WHERE:  Look up, all around the sky! (Preferably from out in the countryside, see below)
 
THE PREDICTIONS:  (all times are in CENTRAL TIME): There are 4 teams of scientists, all with different predictions. Generally, all agree on a peak sometime between 4 and 5 a.m. on the morning of the 19th. (but see below for more on this!!!) note: I would rather not give numbers at this point, because I do not want anyone to "expect" anything. Please let me know, however, if you want me to give you an idea of how many you may see. However, based on the predictions, the number MAY be in the dozens or possibly hundreds per hour around the peak time. Please note that all of these are just PREDICTIONS; they may not actually happen. The only way to know what will happen is to be outside on the peak night (at the peak time), looking up.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTES: You will see the most meteors AWAY FROM CITY LIGHTS. Also, once you are outside, try to minimize your usage of artificial lights.... and try not to look directly at any bright light sources. The eyes take a while to get fully adapted to the dark. Make sure you preserve that! The closer one is to the city, the fewer meteors will be seen. In fact, you may see 2 to 5 times as many meteors if you get far away from artificial lighting! But if one canít get away from the city, it still is worth watching the skies on that morning.

Unfortunately, the moon will interfere this year... but don't let that deter you from watching the show. Try to block the moon with a building or a set of trees, if possible.

HOWEVER, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CLEAR VIEW TO THE REST OF THE SKY! 

DO NOT watch the show for a few minutes, and give up. Meteor watching takes patience. Bring a battery operated alarm clock (to wake yourself up) if necessary. Do not fall asleep and miss the show!

The best time, as noted, is to watch the show CONSISTENTLY between 4 and 5 a.m. on the morning of the 19th. However, it is highly recommended, if possible, to watch as much as possible between midnight and 6 a.m. That leaves room for a bit of error in the predictions.

As noted, all times are in CENTRAL TIME. Please adjust accordingly for anyone else watching out of this time zone. Also, the predictions above are good for North and Central America only. If you have relatives living in other parts of the world, e-mail me and I will tell you what they are predicted to see. (all of the teams predict a peak for Europe as well)

Sources: Too numerous to list here. But I want to give credit where itís due, so if you want to know where I got this information, please e-mail me at the address below.

Contact me at: astrophoto@yahoo.com

If you have any questions, e-mail me (I can also give you more details on all the predictions) 

If you see the show, PLEASE e-mail me your comments! (what you saw, how you felt, etc.) 

You are my ambassadors! Feel free to pass this information on (including my e-mail address) to all your friends and family. 

Thanks for reading to the end! 

Best wishes, and clear skies!!!!! 

Mark Egan

Special thanks goes to Mark for letting me post this Leonid Brief!

 

 

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