This is a collection of Leonid Reports and observations from Friends and visitors of WeatherFriend.

 I hope you enjoy these reports which create a visual of the event. Special thanks to all those who let me post their observations. Enjoy!

WeatherFriend Leonids 2002


Table of Contents

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Kim Youman's Account

[East GA, USA 

I was forced to abandon my newly-selected site due to clouds at 12:30 EST last night, but within
 30 minutes I was pretty much cloud free at my second site.  I was hampered by fog at around
 9:35 UT for ten minutes or so but it blew on out rather quickly and clear skies became the rule
 again.  The moon sank and my LM's improved to a fairly respectable 5.5 on average most of
 the night. The night began slowly, and it reminded me of 1999, rates were dependent on the
 radiant rise and nothing else, until I began my fourth period at 09:05 UT; rates slowly started to
 climb.  There were a few scattered fireballs -- I did have -7, a -6, a -4 ... but the dim meteors far
 outweighed the rest. When the peak did kick in, it was astounding at times, with several
 simultaneous meteors, the wheel spoke effect, and sometimes 6-7 meteors appearing within
 seconds. The meteors were quite colorful, with blue and green dominating. My highest minutes
 were at 10:39 (16 meteors), 10:42 (16 meteors), and 10:48 (15 meteors). All told, I saw 438
 meteors from 6:00UT until 11:08 UT Given the poor LM's, this would have been some treat
 under a +6.5 sky!!! With this peak, I have now been fortunate enough to see all the (local) peak
 returns of the Leonids since 1997, except for 2000.

Please find my one-minute counts at the end of the report **********************************************************
OBSERVER:
Kim S. Youmans (YOUKI) DATE: 11-18/19-2002
BEGIN:06:00 UT END 11:08UT LOCATION: Treutlen
Co, Ga. 82. 24' 25" W; 32. 24' 45" N 
METHOD: Tape Elev. 240 ft 
Facing East, sky 0 %0bscured, One Break

Period 1 6:00-7:00 UT SPO(0) LEO(15)
Dead time = 1 min Teff = 0.983
Avg. LM = +4.62  FOV Mid period 1, 6hr +20 

Period 2 7:00-8:00 UT SPO(03) LEO(19)
Dead time = 1 min Teff = 0.983
Avg. LM = +5.15  FOV Mid period 6hrs 25 min +20

  Period 3 8:05-09:05 UT SPO(02) LEO(27) TAU(1)
Dead time = 1 min Teff = 0.983
Avg. LM = +5.48 FOV Mid period 7hr 28 min +28

Period 4 9:05-10:05 UT SPO(0) LEO(54)

Dead time = 1 min Teff = 0.983
Avg. LM = +5.54 FOV Mid period 7hrs 40 min +25

Period 5 10:05-11:08 UT SPO(3) LEO(239)

Dead time = 4 min Teff = 0.983 Avg. LM = 4.93

Center FOV Mid period 8hr 20min +28

Limiting Magnitudes
06:30 UT (IMO 4) +3.79 (IMO 17) +4.52
07:00 UT (IMO 4) +5.01 (IMO 17) +5.16
07:30 UT (IMO 4) +5.34 (IMO 17) +4.33
08:00 UT (IMO 4) +5.75 (IMO 17) +5.21
08:30 UT (IMO 4) +5.75 (IMO 17) +5.21
09:00 UT (IMO 4) +5.75 (IMO 17) +5.21
09:30 UT (IMO 4) +5.75 (IMO 17) +5.21
10:00 UT (IMO 4) +5.75 (IMO 17) +5.46
10:30 UT (IMO 3) +5.16 (IMO 17) +5.21
11:00 UT (IMO 3) +4.48 (IMO 17) +3.97

PERIOD 1, 6:00-7:00

LEO (11) -4(1) +1(2) +2(3) +3(4) +4(3) +5(2)
SPO (0)

Period 2, 7:00-8:00
LEO (19) -6(1) -2(1) +1(1) +2(1) +3(2) +4(7) +5(6)
SPO (3) +1(1) +3(1) +5(1)

Period 3, 8:05-9:05
LEO(27) 0(2) +1(3) +2(3) +3(7) +4(5) +5(7)
SPO(2) +2(2)

TAU(1) 0(1)

Period 4, 9:05-10:05
LEO (54) -7(1)-1(1) 0(4)

+1(4) +2(13) +3(8) +4(9) +5(14)

Period 5, 10:07-11:08
A) 10:07-10:17
LEO(20) 0(1) +1(1) +2(4) +3(7) +4(4) +5(3)
SPO (0)

B) 10:17-10:27
LEO(26) 0(1) +1(2) +2(5) +3(3) +4(8) +5(7)
SPO(0)

C) 10:27-10:35
LEO(28) 0(2) +1(4) +2(5) +3(4) +4(6) +5(7)
SPO(1) +5(1)
Limiting magnitudes dropped at 10:35 UT

1-Minute Intervals 10:07 - 11:08

10:07-10:08   1
10:08-10:09   3
10:09-10:10   2
10:10-10:11   2
10:11-10:12   0
10:12-10:13   1
10:13-10:14   2
10:14-10:15   1
10:15-10:16   4
10:16-10:17   5
10:17-10:18   1
10:18-10:19   4
10:19-10:20   1
10:20-10:21   2
10:21-10:22   4
10:22-10:23   4
10:23-10:24   1
10:24-10:25   2
10:25-10:26   1
10:26-10:27   5
10:27-10:28   2
10:28-10:29   4
10:29-10:30   2
10:30-10:31   6
10:31-10:32   4
10:32-10:33   3
10:33-10:34   4
10:34-10:35   4
10:35-10:36   8
10:36-10:37   4
10:37-10:38   6
10:38-10:39   11
10:39-10:40   16
10:40-10:41    4
10:41-10:42   11
10:42-10:43   16
10:43-10:44   10
10:44-10:45   3
10:45-10:46   8
10:46-10:47   10
10:47-10:48   9
10:48-10:49   15
10:49-10:50   9
10:50-10:51   7
10:51-10:52   11
10:52-10:53   6
10:53-10:54   9
10:54-10:55   6
10:55-10:56   7
10:56-10:57   5
10:57-10:58   6
10:58-10:59   6
10:59-11:00   5
11:00-11:01   7
11:01-11:02   9
11:02-11:03   6
11:03-11:04   4
11:04-11:05   4
11:05-11:06   1
11:06-11:07   0
11:07-11:08   2
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From children

[Mia says- I saw a big fat weird one. Then a small and beautiful one.

Darrein- I saw a big big blue one and then I saw a red one.

Rebecca- This meteor was huge. I mean huge! It was blue and looked really cool. It looked like it was going to crash right here. My brother screamed when it happened and it was funny.

 

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Dad's shoot through clouds

[I asked Dad to get up and see if he could see the Leonids. 

He got up and looked outside to see clouds. Not giving up he continued to watch as a patch of clear skies passed
over head. He saw one meteor in the clearing before clouds conquered the skies again.]

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Mita Adrei and photograph

[Gemini - Saturn
LM : 4.7
Date : 18/19 nov 2002
Time : 22:53 - 03:00 UT

NR Rad   Ora Mag 
LEO 23:10  -1
2 LEO 23:11 +0.5
LEO 23:20 +0.5 
4 LEO 23:26 +1
5 LEO 23:31 +2
6 LEO 23:35 +2.5
7 LEO 23:38 +3
mitaandreleonid.jpg (19166 bytes)

Leonid 2002 photograph

by: Mita Andrei

Pause 1:42 - 3:25 because of the clouds.
NR Rad   Ora Mag 
LEO 1:35
LEO 1:35 +1
10 LEO 1:42  +3
11 LEO 2:16  -3
12 LEO 2:16 -1
13 LEO  2:58 -4
14  LEO 2:54 -1
After 03:00 UT the clouds covered the sky so I stopped recording data. Even with the clouds
covering the sky I could count 70 meteor and 10 fireballs.

Mita Andrei

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Report by Paul Jones

[Leonids from St. Augustine - narrative report
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 10:54:02 -0500

Greetings to all,

No one was more surprised than I was when it turned out that N. Fla was the place to be for the
02 Leonids! Given our track record of weather in November over the last thirty years or so, it
would have been a long shot to expect this to say the least. We have now had two perfect years
in a row for them. I had checked out the water vapor satellite images on the Hurricane Center's
 Tropical Storm prediction website during the day of the 18th and saw the driest air in the whole
 eastern hemisphere sitting right over us! But there was still that darn lunar situation to contend
 with. At the last minute, I decided to forgo the midnight "grazer window" and get some sleep in
 anticipation of what was to come. I figured the moon would take the edge off any grazers that
 came through and I had seen about a dozen gorgeous ones last year, enough to hold me over.
 As it turned out I probably would not have seen many anyway due to the intrinsic faintness of the
02 Leonids. It's better to be lucky than good, any day I say!
I arose at 4 a.m. local and walked the 100 yards or so from my front door down to the west bank
 of St. Augustine Inlet-the extent of my travels this year! The moon was still hanging fairly high in
 the west. I set up my observing chair and sleeping bag on the seawall, carefully positioning the
 moon behind a couple of trees, out of sight, out of mind. It was clear to the horizon looking north,
 east and south. Only a few trees to the west cut down my view. I was about 500 yards or so
 north of the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the 300 plus year old Spanish fort in St.
 Augustine. Except for the lingering moonlight, conditions were picture perfect. Humidity was
 remarkably low with minimal dew and no fog, a rarity for this time of year in N. Florida. Again,
 good fortune seemed to be on my side.
I began obs at 4:30 a.m. local, to relatively low activity. Typical Leonid behavior: a burst of two
 or three in a minute, followed by five or so minute lulls. Didn't take long to notice that a majority
 of the Ls were hitting very faint and short-pathed, some +3s, but most were +4. Occasionally, a
 nice +2 would hit leaving a beautiful softly-glowing, bluish train against the sky in its wake.
 Nothing unusual here: textbook Leonids, in fact.
It was fast approaching 5 a.m. local, the skies were improving as the Moon headed for the
 horizon, but the Leonids were not. Still keeping the same steady pace. No sign of any ramp up
 whatsoever. Some concern beginning to grow here. Where are they? Could the storm
 predictions be wrong, Heaven forbid? I decide to hang in there a while longer and see what
 happens.
It's now 5:15 a.m. and maybe I'm beginning to catch a slight upswing in the Leonids "beat". The
 two or three mini-bursts are maybe coming a little more frequently now. But not by much! My
 concern is growing. They are still faint, short and near the radiant, only an occasional + 1 or +2
 with a train keeps me going. Nothing even close to minus magnitudes, let alone a fireball! Who
 could have figured this?
Just before 5:30 a.m., my inner voice is trying to get me to give it up. Moon is gone, but twilight
 is soon to come. No storm in sight! What is going on here? Nice Leonid shower in any other
 year, but not this one! My refusal to quit keeps me in place.
Finally, just after 5:30 a.m., things start to happen. I begin to see the beginning of a modest
 ramp-up! Still two or three Ls hitting in short bursts, it's just that now the lulls are not so long in
 between! A minute or two later and the lulls are gone! Two or three Ls EVERY minute! Now
 we're getting someplace!
It's now pushing 5:40 a.m. and dawn is kicking up over in the east as Venus smiles back at
 me. Leonid streaks are starting to flash everywhere at about 5 a minute now. They are hitting at
 all points of the compass in quick succession. I see L streaks leaving trains but no meteor that
 caused them! A beautiful 0 mag hits in Leo Minor, its train hangs there, two more off to
 northeast! Now we're talking.
At 5:45 a.m., I am startled by a human figure standing next to me! It is my down the street
 neighbor! He has ventured out to see what is going on. He says the local TV station is reporting
 that the storm is happening big time. I think: maybe so, but not by much! It is his very first meteor
 shower, he is blown away! It is my about two hundreth meteor shower and I am soon to be blown
 away, too. Just after he shows up, the defining moment of the morning occurs: a "squadron" of
 no less than eight identical +3 Leonids streak out the radiant going NW in Gemini. They are
 perfectly simultaneous and about three degrees away from one another. I almost come out of
 my observing chair! Within that five or so second bin I see no less then 15 to 20 Leonids hitting
 everywhere on the sky. I get the "wheel spoke effect" and visualize the Earth's movement in
 space. I can't believe this is happening! All I can think of is the classic photos of the 1966 storm
 that we have all seen. I never could grasp what 40 per second must have looked like back then.
 Now I can! Even if my brief encounter with 8 to 10 per second still pales in comparison.
After this, the splendid Leonid "back beat" of one per second continues on for a few more
 moments, then fades. It is obvious the peak has passed, but my euphoria hadn't. And still
 hasn't. No real fireballs for me, only a few popped in negative magnitudes and no long enduring
 trains, but I could not be happier at the brief, stunning spectacle I have just seen. 
Regards, Paul   in FL.]

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Grandparents

[A few stars were seen but clouds covered the majority of the skies:( 

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Aunt Lavera

[As requested Aunt Lavera tried to see the show. Clouds blocked out the stars of the skies and the meteors were not seen.}

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Christie Ponder
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Revised: February 19, 2003 .

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