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#2655 - 11/17/01 03:22 AM Leonids
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2183
I just thought I would remind everyone here of the Leonids Meteor Shower which is due very early Sunday morning (at least that's the times in southwestern U.S.). This message below is from a good friend who is a respected amateur astronomer and who writes on the subject for Space.com and others. He was answering my question as to if the hype was worth staying up all night. <br><br>We're going out with him and friends to watch.<br> <br>---------------<br><br>Predicting meteor showers is a bit like predicting the weather in that nothing is certain, but it does look quite likely that on the wee hours of Sunday morning we may have a spectacular meteor show, mostly over the western U.S. and Pacific Rim. The 3am time is only very approximate; it could peak anytime from roughly midnight to sunrise and there could be multiple peaks. During that time it's very likely that at a number of locations (Arizona is one of them) will see a very rare "meteor storm," an extremely intense meteor display of dozens to hundreds of meteors _per minute_, thousands per hour.<br><br>An event like this happened in 1833 (again with the Leonids) and it was so intense that people all across the U.S. ran outside their homes and panicked at the sight, not knowing what it was. To many people it looked like the sky was on fire, many thought the world was ending. It happened again with the Leonids in 1866 and 1966. In the 1966 event there were many measurements made, and one instrument count showed that the meteor storm had peaked with a period a few minutes long when the rate had hit 40,000 meteors per hour -- more than 10 _per second_, with dozens and dozens visible in the air at one time. That is the kind of sight one would never forget.<br><br>Three years ago Sharon and I saw a much smaller flare-up of the Leonids that at times had 5 or 6 meteors in the air at one time. For an hour or so there was a continual rain of meteors, one after another like machine-gun fire darting everywhere in the sky. It was one of the most memorable sights I've ever seen, but it was nothing like a full meteor storm.<br><br>To see this thing the only thing needed are open eyeballs and a comfy chair under dark skies. Practically speaking you'll also want very warm clothes (sitting around in the boonies at 3am on a November morning is very cold work -- I speak from much shivering experience) and some hot drinks would be very nice to have.<br><br>If you're interested in more info on this whole Leonids thing and how it happens, Space.com (www.space.com). This is *the* big story in astronomy right now, so there should be several more articles there on it, including details of the meteor forecasts for this weekend.<br>--------------<br><br>Enjoy!<br><br><br>
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
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Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

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#2656 - 11/17/01 03:11 PM Re: Leonids
BoyNhisDog Offline
new member

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Arizona
This is exciting! I hope I can get outside the city to do this. It's going to be a busy weekend so we will see. <br><br>Doug, it sounds like you are from Arizona too. I love this place. I have lived all over in my youth and have traveled far but I keep coming back here. The easiest guess is you live in the Phoenix valley and Tucson, where I live would be the second guess. When I was 10 we lived in Phoenix. It was about 10% of the size it is now. <br><br>We saw a huge meteor about 7 to 10 years ago near Sedona. We were camped and sitting in out chairs viewing the skys when a good sized meteor shower came. The big one broke up into several pieces and was very bright. We almost thought we could hear it, but not really.
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Glen

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#2657 - 11/17/01 08:26 PM Re: Leonids
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Im on my way to the Mojave desert ( where the space shuttle first landed). The phenomenon of modern light pollution has robbed even the joy of stargazing. Did anyone chance to see the rare southern display of the Northern lights recently? I was out making a fool of myself field testing frog spears ( my fishing gear review will probably carry the disclaimer " no fish were harmed in the making of this article, members of PETA were on hand and the utmost consideration was taken for their safety").

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#2658 - 11/18/01 05:31 AM Re: Leonids
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2183
Good guess. The clouds are screwing up everything, looks like it will be a bust anywhere near here. :-((((( Timing is everything...
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

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#2659 - 11/18/01 04:01 PM Re: Leonids
Anonymous
Unregistered


We were up at 4am this morning and saw a fantastic show! It was raining meteorites until just before dawn. They were all over the sky going in every direction. Most were white in color with some brighter blue and green ones. It was definitely worth the early wake up and the 28 degree temp.<br><br>Chris

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#2660 - 11/18/01 06:47 PM Re: Leonids
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
The show was incredible! We had to move twice. First some bootleg rave party invaded our first location. We were all set at a second spot, when the delicate scent of a putrescent, dead slow elk ( domestic cow) drove us further out. Driving home,we came up on a Low rider procession.I slipped in a Peter Rowan CD and played THE FREE MEXICAN AIRFORCE, a strange ballad extolling the heroics of marijuana smugglers. My friends were convinced I was going to get us killed. the car club loved it, and activated their hydraulics, bouncing 8 chevies insync. A family from Indiana drove past, mouths agape. "Excuse us,SIR, is this neighborhood safe?" I smiled from under my black cowboy hat "be afaid,be very afraid,this is CALIFORNIA"

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#2661 - 11/18/01 08:42 PM Re: Leonids
BoyNhisDog Offline
new member

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Arizona
We made it to the east perimeter of the city by 1:30am. There were hundreds of cars and about a thousand party-animals and high-plains drifters. We had to park a half mile from the trailhead and walk through the carnival atmosphere. Our red tasklights showed us the way without blowing our night vision. <br><br>It was worth it. Although there were high clouds, they cleared off around the constellatin Leo between 2am and 4am with a only a few minutes of some very thin clouds. Great meteor show with many small ones and some big one that left vapor trails. We lay back with our heads on our rucks and took it all in till hunger took over and we made for IHOP. The place which is usually dead at that hour was packed. What a great night.<br><br>Great story Chris! I like your taste in music.


Edited by BoyNhisDog (11/18/01 09:20 PM)
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Glen

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#2662 - 11/18/01 10:25 PM Re: Leonids
Anonymous
Unregistered


Here is a question. Does anyone knoe why there were different colored meteors? While most were white in color the brighter ones appeared green or blue. I have asked a few people but no one has a definite answer.<br><br>Sorry you guys didn't have a good show out west. Here is CT it was fantastic. We even got to point out a satellite going over.<br><br><br>Chris<br><br>Chris

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#2663 - 11/18/01 11:53 PM Re: Leonids
Anonymous
Unregistered


Composition of the metorite and the air it's hitting is what I was told, along with the temp of the object. <br><br>Went out shortly after 0330 and stayed out for an hour and a half, when clouds started moving in and reflecting too much of the light from in town (was screeened by trees while it was clear out). Stopped counting at 35 in 15 minutes. <br><br>Had 3 fireballs that I saw, and 4 more that came in "behind" me- very, very bright. Moslty white, mostly dim, but had a lot of greens and a single red, though one of the other amature astronomers I know thought it might have been unrealted the shower, based off the angle. <br><br>Until the clouds moved in, Vermont had excellent veiwing conditions. Almost no clouds, and so long as you were screened from town lights, increadable clarity. Also took the time to do some looking at Jupiter and some of the other nice things through binocs.

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