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The Bad Astronomer
2001-Nov-18, 09:45 AM
Well, from here in Northern California I saw roughly 50 Leonids in about one hour. We had patchy thick fog, with variable transparency. Sometimes I could see 4th mag stars, sometimes just barely Jupiter. Despite that, we saw many very bright meteors, some easily brighter than Venus ever gets. Had the skies been dark I am sure I would have seen hundreds per hour.

I saw one Taurid too. It was moving at a 90 degree angle from the Leonids, which is about what you'd expect. The last time I stayed up for the Leonids (1999) I saw about 20 from each shower, which was pretty cool.

All in all, a success, especially since my daughter had a great time, and it's a good deal warmer here than the last time in Maryland (when it was well below freezing).

CarDanger
2001-Nov-18, 09:55 AM
Well I'm out here in DC and I saw about 40 in an hour. Unfortunatly I missed about half the show when my brother and I decide to go out to country in Lorton. But it was totally fogged up out there so we actually had to come back to the city to see anything. We ended up down at the Potomic where we got a good view, but light pollution was very high.
I only saw one real fireball, the rest were a small fast ones.

Torsten
2001-Nov-18, 09:57 AM
I just got in from viewing them with my 11 year old son (it's about 3:30 am PST here). We went out of town a short way, and threw down some patio chair cushions and a down sleeping bag in a farm field and just stared straight up. It was -6 C. We easily saw between 50 and 100 meteors, and some were quite bright. No "storm" though. They seemed to come in small groups. The viewing started out with a thin haze that obscured most of the stars, and probably most of the faint meteors, but it got much better as time passed. I had my camera set up with a 28 mm lens at f2.8 and ISO 200 film. I got up every 5-8 minutes to start a new exposure. I'm sure I caught a few bright ones on film, but I don't have my hopes high for quality due to the haze.

When the haze cleared enough that we could actually see the sickle in Leo, we saw a few meteors come right out of there. One short one went straight down. That was very odd to see compared to the appearance of most of them.

Anyway, that was worth staying up for. How'd the rest of you folks do?

Kaptain K
2001-Nov-18, 11:30 AM
Unfortunately, I had to work last night. Just as well, as it was overcast and drizzly most of the night. Started clearing just as I got off work (5:15 CST). Couldn't see any from downtown Austin, so I headed home. Stopped at a roadside rest area about twenty miles (32 kilometers) east of Austin. Even though it was still partly cloudy, in the fifteen minutes I watched before the sky started to lighten, I saw 27 Leonids and one sporadic. Most of the meteors were faint and fast, but there were three good fireballs. One was so short (it was near the radiant) that I was reminded of a camera flash. All in all, a good show. Not like '66 but better than I've seen since (or before for that matter). I just wish it had been clear and that I had been at home for the peak (normally, I get off at 3:00 or 3:30 and would have been home).

_________________
When in danger, or in doubt...
Run in circles, scream and shout.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2001-11-18 06:31 ]</font>

KevinF
2001-Nov-18, 11:45 AM
FOG! Fog fog fog.

That's all I got to see in Pittsburgh. I was excited, and my no-so-interested-in-astronomy wife wanted to see it too, but our visibility here was about 100 feet.

*sigh*

Still, I'm glad it was a good show for y'all.

Donnie B.
2001-Nov-18, 11:51 AM
Good show, Leo!

On my roof, with clear skies and outside any major city, but in a light-polluted area generally, I saw 40-50 in an hour before the cold drove me back in.

I'd concur with the "short bursts" observation; sometimes I'd go a couple minutes without any, then get three or four within a few seconds.

As you'd expect, distribution across the sky was fairly random, but there seemed to be a couple "hot spots" that got more than average. No doubt this was mere coincidence. However, I did see a few "clusters" where two or three appeared together in the sky within a second of each other. Perhaps these were parts of one grain that divided high in the atmosphere, or small bits brought close together by mutual gravitation; or just coincidence again.

A few were quite bright. But I believe I missed the single best one. As I was dressing to go out, there was a flash like lightning. I wish I'd been outside for that one!

jwave
2001-Nov-18, 11:55 AM
I witnessed a good show from east Tennessee. The skies were clear and I counted over 600 between 4:45 and 6:30am. I saw no really long streaks and nothing very bright, but 3 or 4 had a nice burst at the end. Many had very short apparent paths. I never saw more than 2 simultaneously, although bursts of 4 to 5 in 2 or 3 seconds occurred a few times.

A few strays from other directions passed by as well.

Rift
2001-Nov-18, 12:48 PM
Here in NE Kansas we had clouds ::sigh::

Where the skies are not cloudy all day, but night is another story /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

Trish
2001-Nov-18, 01:11 PM
Well, I too had to work, but made my way outside a couple times. I saw maybe twenty - which is good considering I was staring at a street lamp too. Did see 3 spectacular streaks at the same time at about 2am MDT.

James
2001-Nov-18, 01:51 PM
I, myself, had slept through most of it. [hangs head in shame] /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_redface.gif By the time I woke up, it was a quarter to 5AM CST and I headed right out, but the clouds had rolled in by then... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_cry.gif

Sounds like I missed a good show. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_mad.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Oh, well. There's always next year...

_________________
"Evangelist" - Evil's Agent

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: James on 2001-11-18 08:53 ]</font>

The Rat
2001-Nov-18, 02:01 PM
On 2001-11-18 06:45, KevinF wrote:
FOG! Fog fog fog.

Same story here in Toronto. Couldn't decide whether to drown my sorrows in Malibu or Scotch.

ToSeek
2001-Nov-18, 03:09 PM
Well, even from my light-polluted site between Washington and Baltimore, I managed to see over a hundred. This was between about 4:30 and 6.10 am EST. I took several breaks in order to thaw out or to roust my wife, so it was well over one per minute.

I had a good omen right at the outside: even as I was leaving my house and still on the porch, I saw one right where I was looking!

As others said, there were definitely bursts. The peak for me seemed to be around 5:10 am, when I saw 15-20 in what I think was less than ten minutes, including two at the same time.

By the time my wife came out, of course, it had died back.

The most impressive single meteor for me was one that formed a short trail almost directly overhead. The trail clearly had a greenish tinge, and where the meteor vanished there was a definite smoke cloud that lasted for another 15-20 seconds afterwards.

Many of the meteors left ionization trails that remained visible for several seconds afterwards.

I'm glad I got up so early, though I'm not going to be good for much today! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Mr. X
2001-Nov-18, 03:45 PM
I have classes monday, so I need to keep my sleep somewhat regular, and since I came back home at 2300 I slept right through. I tried to watch at 2300, basing myself on the theory that they can't ALL hit at the same time, but I guess I was wrong. I would have seen it in the early morning, the sky here is blue blue blue and at the time must have been pitch black. Blast!

I think we should be a ship that collects all orbiting space trash, natural and other, and throws it down in the atmosphere in large quantities for show. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

David Hall
2001-Nov-18, 03:46 PM
AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was about 1:00am and I stepped out to see what was visible. It was a beautiful night. About as clear as I could hope for in my light-infested city. A little hazy on the horizon, but nice and clear overhead. Only a couple of small clouds drifting here and there. I could see down to below 3rd magnitude; the Pleadies were dim but I could make out 6 of them. I had really high hopes. It isn't very good seeing where I live, big buildings and lots of light, so I planned to head out to a more open area.

Since the shower is supposed to peak around 2:30-3:30, I decided to wait indoors for a bit longer. Well, now it's after 2:00 and I have just finished getting ready to head out--and IT'S CLOUDY! Light clouds cover the sky from horizon to horizon. They all rolled in over the last hour or so.

I am soo frustrated. This is supposed to be the area with the highest peak. There may be thousands an hour, but I won't be able to see them. Stupid weather.

(Oh yeah, I did spot one Taurid the first time I stepped out, but that was it.)
_________________
David Hall
"Dave... my mind is going... I can feel it... I can feel it." (http://www.occn.zaq.ne.jp/cuaea503/whatnots/2001_feel_it.wav)


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2001-11-18 10:48 ]</font>

Lisa
2001-Nov-18, 06:22 PM
Here in Rapid City, SD, it was beautiful and clear until about 0300. What a great show! We were ooh-ing and ah-ing like we were at a fireworks show. The clouds and the cold drove us inside about 0330.
The timing was perfect. Now its completely overcast and we just got a couple of inches of snow.
Lisa

Zandermann
2001-Nov-18, 06:31 PM
completely socked in with fog here...clear visibility about 10 feet

darnitall

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Zandermann on 2001-11-18 13:32 ]</font>

David Hall
2001-Nov-18, 07:30 PM
WhooooHoooooo!!!!!

Everybody please ignore my previous post (well, mostly ignore it). It turns out that the clouds I cursed at so loudly moved out as fast as they came in. Stepping out again at 2:45 I saw that the sky was mostly clear.

For the first 20 minutes it was wonderful. I never saw so many bright meteors before. as mentioned by others, they seemed to come in bursts. But just after 3:00 another cloud bank came in and covered the whole sky. This was interesting though, as they turned out to not be very thick. I could see Jupiter and the brighter stars through most of it. So I ended up watching and seeing quite a few bright meteor flashes through the clouds. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Things partially cleared up about 3:30 and by 3:45 were mostly clear again. Peaks of activity came about every 20 minutes, with meteors averaging maybe one per 5 seconds in those times. Overall I'd say the average was about 3 or 4 per minute between 3:30 and 4:30. The peak of activity was between 4:10 and 4:20; coming about one per second or two. After 4:45 it died out considerably, and I decided to come home at 5:30 when I was only seeing one bright one every 5 minutes or so. (and it was getting cold too.)

I never saw the "thousands" that were predicted (unless it happened during the cloud cover), but I did see dozens. The coolest sighting was when I saw four at once: three in a kind of claw formation and a 4th one below it. The best thing however was the large number of very bright fireballs. They were as bright as the brightest Persieds, only they came in faster and weren't as yellow. At one point it seemed like every other meteor was like that. I can't count how many there were that left bright smoke trails, 20 or 30 at least. The 2 best ones were just after I started. One was very bright and glowed blue-white with sparks shedding off it. The other was partly obscured by a house, but it left a trail that I could see in binoculars for a long time afterwards.

Overall, this turned out to be the best shower I've seen in ages, if not ever. If the clouds hadn't interfered, It would have been perfect. I guess I still have to wait for a real storm though.

(Oh, and I spotted another Taurid, too. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif)
_________________
David Hall
"Dave... my mind is going... I can feel it... I can feel it." (http://www.occn.zaq.ne.jp/cuaea503/whatnots/2001_feel_it.wav)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2001-11-18 14:32 ]</font>

Joel Clifton
2001-Nov-18, 07:58 PM
I counted 570 meteors, and about 530 of those were between 4:45 and 6:00 AM eastern. It was pretty darned foggy, and about 1/4th of the time I could only see the brighter stars, but the rest of the time visibility was OK, and about another 1/4 of the time, visibility was pretty darned good.

About 1/3rd of them were brighter than Jupiter. I saw one that was so bright that it left a trail that was visible for more than 15 seconds. Sometimes a "star" meteor appeared in the constellation Leo. Since the meteors were pretty much going straight toward me, they didn't appear to move much. I saw one meteor that had absolutely NO apparent motion. It looked like a -1 mag star that appeared and then dissappeared after about a second and a half. Once I saw the fog light up for a split second. I didn't see the meteor, but it must have been AWFULLY darned bright.

I also saw a few exploding meteors. They were bright enough to leave a trail, so I could easily see the path it took. The exploding ones left a lump around the middle of the trail, and also changed direction slightly.

I got absolutely no sleep until 6:30 when it began to get light, and then slept until about 1:00.

WOW, it was worth it. The most I had ever seen in one night before that was 109, and that was in two and a half hours. Last night I saw over 500 in just over an hour.

Joel Clifton
2001-Nov-18, 08:01 PM
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I noticed that the meteors seemed to come in bursts too. I'd see one every three seconds for about 30 seconds, and then there'd be a minute or so where there would only be about one meteor, and so on. Anyone know why? Is it coincidence, or something else?

RMallon
2001-Nov-18, 08:07 PM
Verry coool write up David.
Made me think of an old Weather Report album from '73 called "Mysterious Traveller", altho the cover art is of a comet.

Windows Media has the intro cut of the title track....

http://www.cdnow.com/cgi-bin/mserver/SID=700374515/pagename=/RP/CDN/FIND/album.html/ArtistID=WEATHER+REPORT/ITEMID=317174

MHS
2001-Nov-18, 09:22 PM
I got up at 3:30 am two night on a row to see... nothing but fog. Damn this country.

> Michiel <

RMallon
2001-Nov-18, 10:26 PM
Think I'm going to try it tonight. It's about 90% cloud cover now. Maybe by 4am it'll clear enough to see some of the stragglers go out with a flash, ending their long, long sojourn.

Peter B
2001-Nov-18, 10:38 PM
Yeah, well I got up at 4am for a look. 100% cloud cover! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_mad.gif

Straight back to bed.

RMallon
2001-Nov-18, 10:59 PM
I heard on NPR the Leonids meteor shower won't be around for awhile. Seems this weekend is the last year of a 5 year run-thru, with the next rendevous not until 2095 or so. <:-(
http://leonids.hq.nasa.gov/leonids/meteor_anim.html


Scroll down for Leonid images/movie...
http://www.apogee-ccd.com/camimages.html#Leonid

Torsten, hope you'll post some of your Leonid time exposures for us!




<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: rmallon on 2001-11-18 18:33 ]</font>

Hale_Bopp
2001-Nov-18, 11:03 PM
Just wonderin if we could get a report from our overseas friends who might have been able to see the later forecast peaks.

Totally fogged over here...wouldn't even want to drive much last night.

Rob

Kaptain K
2001-Nov-18, 11:35 PM
Just wonderin if we could get a report from our overseas friends who might have been able to see the later forecast peaks.
See above for David Hall's report from Osaka, Japan.

ljbrs
2001-Nov-19, 01:31 AM
We were roundly clouded out. Michigan treats astronomy enthusiasts with sinister contempt. We Michiganders must learn to live with the weather. I did something else which was also interesting. Here we all wear a second hat in additional to amateur astronomer: Amateur Meteorologist!

I have friends in Florida who gloated. Ruffians!

However, here is another good URL to help soothe the heavy spirits:

http://www.leonidslive.com/meteors/gallery_18nov01.html

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_cry.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_cry.gif

Gizmog1
2001-Nov-19, 01:50 AM
I looked from Lousiville Kentucky. There was a lot of fog here too, but we saw probably 30 or 40 from 4:00 eastern to 6:00. I saw one that was bright yellow, and as it streaked down, it left a bright green cloud behind it, that stayed in the air for about 6 seconds before disappearing. I think it was worth freezing to see.

Kaptain K
2001-Nov-19, 01:57 AM
For those of us who were clouded out, there seems to be some good news! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif Predictions for next year are even better for 2002. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

http://www.arm.ac.uk/leonid/encounters.html

RMallon
2001-Nov-19, 02:00 AM
Kooool site, ljbrs!
At least the stinkin' clouds/fog didn't wrap the entire globe last night.

Randy

Mr. X
2001-Nov-19, 03:49 AM
On 2001-11-18 21:00, RMallon wrote:
At least the stinkin' clouds/fog didn't wrap the entire globe last night.

LOL /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif
What a lame planet we live on! It manages to shadow everything with pea soup like clouds! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

CJSF
2001-Nov-19, 12:24 PM
(OK, so I'm a few days late with my "report").

AUGH! I HATE FOG!

Here in the Upper Ohio Valley, thick cold fog "rolled" in around 8pm and stayed around all night and all morning. I was bitterly disappointed. It wasn't even safe to drive to a higher, non foggy area. We had zero visibility on the roads.

SIGH

THE meteor event of my lifetime and I missed it!

CJSF

Irishman
2001-Nov-19, 02:12 PM
By some coincidence, I was already planning to go camping this weekend on the outskirts of Houston. The timing was superb. So a group of us were in the woods camping all night Sat night. Only problem is the temps dropped into the 40s and we were plumb tuckered out from the day's activities. We had patchy clouds rolling across the sky. Went to bed about 12 - just couldn't stay up.

But I did wake up at about 5:30 needing to make a pit stop, and the sky was clear. So I stayed up for about 10 minutes watching the sky. It was pretty neat, but got too cold and I went back to bed. More of the haze was rolling across the sky at that time anyway.

SeanF
2001-Nov-19, 02:35 PM
My fiancee and I got up about 3:00am CST and went outside to take a look -- perfectly clear skies. After a while, we decided to drive outside of town to get away from the city lights a bit.

Saw a lot of meteors, some surprisingly bright. There were a couple where you could still see the trail a good 15 seconds later.

At about 4:30am the clouds started to roll in and so we went back home. (It was weird; we were just lying there watching the sky and talking, and all of a sudden noticed that the stars were going away! Couldn't really "see" the clouds, just noticed the absence of stars!)

All in all, though, it was a good show!

Ravi Pinjala
2001-Nov-19, 02:39 PM
This was my first meteor shower. I probably missed a lot of them, because of the light pollution/smog[I live in Houston], but I did see one explode.

Chip
2001-Nov-19, 05:04 PM
My mini report: /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
We observed from the edge of a lake surrounded by pine trees North of Sutter Creek, California. (It's a favorite spot.) Pretty good view of the sky except farther North. We were lucky here as an earlier storm just passed the day before, and newly expected rain clouds and morning fog didn't roll in yet. (Expected Monday night.)

Noticed some meteors prior to 2 a.m. but after - Wow!

We lay back on lawn chairs, bundled up and under blankets - but still cold. Estimates of type and guesses of magnitude quickly deteriorated into just "Ooos and Ahhhs" like a fireworks show.

I estimate the average was 30 a minute with peaks of 80 a minute and gulfs of several minutes with no meteors.

Many seemed to be moving basically East to West across our sky. Some were bright "bluish" while a few appeared "pinkish." Some were tiny thin short streaks while others were wider and longer, and very bright. All were speedy! Flash and gone! Two seemed to go down to the S/W horizon. I saw several pairs flying in side-by-side, and one triplet! Saw several streak through Taurus "near" Saturn. Around 2:35 local time we saw a BIG meteor "explode" slightly "South" of Sirius. It's cloud hung in the air and seemed to glow slightly. It's trail soon drifted into a big question mark shape by (I suppose) winds in the upper atmosphere.

It was really uncanny how the shower picked up as predicted just after 2 a.m. nobody in our group of eight actually saw it directly, but one apparently ended in a very bright flash North of us. (Behind where we were looking, but still in the sky.) It was like lightning (though no sound). That was the brightest.

We finally got too cold about 3:30 and had to go in. I peaked out the window and saw two more. A bedtime treat. Wanted to get up before dawn but woke up closer to noon! (Whoops!) But it was fabulous! Iím still in awe.

Chip


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2001-11-20 11:25 ]</font>

Ben Benoy
2001-Nov-19, 05:14 PM
Ok, in Santa Barbara we had nasty marine layer fog, but we drove up into the hills until we were in the clear, and it was really good. Kinda chilly (40 F, nothing like other places, but it's cold for here /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif ) but clear. I wasn't counting, but they definately came in fits and starts. At one point there were 3 simultaneous streaks, which was good also.

Also, it seemed like most of them went from se to nw, but there were many going perpendicular, is this just random or is there a method to it?

Ben Benoy

Russ
2001-Nov-19, 06:07 PM
What a disapointment!!!!!!!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif Around here it gets foggy once every 5 years. Guess which night was the appointed one this time! We couldn't see the street from our house let alone the sky. I tried phoning around to see if it was a localized thing. Of course, it wasn't. I note by Zanderman's post that it was foggy by him too. He's on the far side of town from me.

We tried driving to the top of a local hill. I do not recomend driving by Braille. (feeling your way along) I nearly hit a parked car. The only thing we saw was that the fog was thicker up there (if such a thing is possible).

(steps from soap box, looks for somewhere else to whine)

Wiley
2001-Nov-19, 09:43 PM
At 1:00 AM it was cloudy, but by three it was absolutely clear. I think all the clouds moved onto to Ohio. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

We saw about a hundred in a half hour, 3:00 - 3:30. Except for lights of Boulder, it was perfect viewing.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wiley on 2001-11-19 16:44 ]</font>

Russ
2001-Nov-19, 10:19 PM
We saw about a hundred in a half hour, 3:00 - 3:30. Except for lights of Boulder, it was perfect viewing.



Hey! So you're the guy that inflicted all of that fog on us!

Interesting that you live in the Peoples Republic of Boulder? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif I used to live down on the south side of Denver off of County Line Rd. in unincorporated Loveland. Beautiful country, great skiing, taxes up the gazoooo. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif It's cheaper for me to live in Ohio and only visit out there. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Zandermann
2001-Nov-20, 12:01 AM
... I think all the clouds moved onto to Ohio. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gifGee thanks, Wiley...I'll remember you in 2099!

Kaptain K
2001-Nov-20, 11:18 AM
Where was this weather 48 hours ago? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif
Got home about 5:00 CST and looked at the sky. A front blew through yesterday. Left the air remarkably clear and steady. Not only was there very little scintillation (twinkle), but M44 (The Beehive) in Cancer was visable to direct vision. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif But, no meteors (in the 10 minutes I was able to stand the 45 degree F in a T-shirt). Bummer! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

Argos
2001-Nov-20, 12:07 PM
I'm still seeing great displays! Last night I saw a big big ball crossing the sky west-east. I'm in southern hemisphere right over the Capricorn tropic, atop a 1000 meter high hill. It was 00:15 AM local time and the sky were perfectly clear, after several days of late spring showers. The meteor presented a reddish colour and wasn't too fast. It gently crossed the sky, leaving a fragmented trail. A vision to be remembered.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2001-11-20 07:22 ]</font>

David Hall
2001-Nov-20, 01:04 PM
On 2001-11-20 07:07, Argos wrote:
I'm still seeing great displays! Last night I saw a big big ball crossing the sky west-east. I'm in southern hemisphere right over the Capricorn tropic, atop a 1000 meter high hill. It was 00:15 AM local time and the sky were perfectly clear, after several days of late spring showers. The meteor presented a reddish colour and wasn't too fast. It gently crossed the sky, leaving a fragmented trail. A vision to be remembered.


That doesn't sound like a Leonid to me. At midnight, Leo would still be far in the east, so any Leonids you saw would have been going from east to west. Also, the Leonids have all been reported to be very fast and bright, glowing yellow, white, or blue.

Sounds more like a really nice sporadic meteor to me. Lucky dog.

PS: Argos, where are you actually? South America? Australia? If Australia, what did you see Sunday night? I'd like to compare it with my own observations if possible.

Mr. X
2001-Nov-20, 01:11 PM
On 2001-11-19 12:14, Ben Benoy wrote:
Also, it seemed like most of them went from se to nw, but there were many going perpendicular, is this just random or is there a method to it?


Well, if you look at the very first post, The Bad Astronomer's post, there is this:



I saw one Taurid too. It was moving at a 90 degree angle from the Leonids, which is about what you'd expect. The last time I stayed up for the Leonids (1999) I saw about 20 from each shower, which was pretty cool.


Maybe we should ask him!

Sean
2001-Nov-21, 12:10 AM
On a cloudless night soaking in a hot tub in Western Washington I stayed up with four friends watching meteor after meteor. It has to have been one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I could not believe how bright some of them were. All I can really say is thank you weather gods for the rare cloudless weekend over in Gig Harbor WA.

rubysue
2001-Nov-21, 01:43 AM
Thought I'd throw my 2 cents in on the Leonids:

We were coming home from a Symphony concert Saturday and the skies were mostly cloudy, so we decided not to get up. However, at about 3:20 am MST, I woke up with a headache (too many Margaritas with dinner,I guess) and got up to get a pain reliever. I peeked out of the upstairs bathroom window in time to see a splendid crystal clear sky and a HUGE Leonid meterorite streaking toward Taurus.

Well,that settled it - we went out on the back deck in our winter coats and pj's and saw Leonids of quite a few different magnitudes (including some so bright they were reflected in the windows of our house). My guess - if we had stayed out a full hour, we would have seen at least 100-150 from our suburban backyard. Really cool (and my headache went away,too)!

rubysue (tired of politics for the time being)

ljbrs
2001-Nov-21, 02:01 AM
Randy:

I thought the meteor site was cool, also. One of my friends in my wonderful astronomy club sent it to the membership. It somewhat saved everything.

I am glad that I have a broad interest in physics/astronomy/astrophysics/cosmology which can take over when the weather up here is dreary. However, Michigan is a Winter and Summer playpen, so if one can brave the snow and the clouds, there is plenty to do at such other times when viewing is temporarily out. Then, there are computers to play with, too.

I always take the positive side of things and have a lot of varied interests which keep anything from ruining my day/night for very long.

I think belonging to a great astronomy club (such as mine) is important. Everybody should have one. The members can cry on each others shoulders when the weather is foul.

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Argos
2001-Nov-21, 10:19 AM
On 2001-11-20 08:04, David Hall wrote:

PS: Argos, where are you actually? South America? Australia? If Australia, what did you see Sunday night? I'd like to compare it with my own observations if possible.



I'm in Brazil, David. 50 degrees longitude west, 22.5 degrees latitude south, in the neighborhood of a beautiful city called Bauru. Unfortunately I was unable to see the stars on Sunday, in account of bad weather. It only cleared out on Monday morning. The region where I am is entering the rainy season, that will last til March. So, I was really lucky on Monday night. If you want some additional report on the things over here, I'll be glad to deliver.

As to the reddish meteor I saw, I guess you are right. It must have been an isolated event.

David Hall
2001-Nov-21, 02:33 PM
Thanks Argos. I had a feeling it was SA from your name and the way you wrote. oh, well. Any Aussies or other Asians want to chime in?

Sorry to hear about the cloudy skies. At least you can see you weren't alone. I've had similar things like this happen to me before too, especially for the 1998 Leonids.

And from your description I'd think that cool red meteor would almost make up for missing out on the peak. At least it's a great consolation prize. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

One of my greatest wishes is to someday get to the southern hemisphere and have someone really knowledgable show me around the skies there. But wait, I'd want to see the WHOLE sky, so it looks like I'll have to go twice, once in summer and again in winter. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

ljbrs
2001-Nov-22, 01:39 AM
There was dense fog in Michigan. I simply did other things, because crying about it only makes one more depressed. I think it is important to have a large list of things one can do when astronomical viewing is impossible. In this way, one is never disturbed by the weather. I live in Michigan where it is important to wear at least two hats: Amateur Astronomer and Amateur Meteorologist. Of course, the more diverse hats, the better. As long as one is always learning something new, nothing is really lost. Just go to PLAN B (or PLAN C, PLAN D, PLAN E, ad infinitum).

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Argos
2001-Nov-22, 10:24 AM
One of my greatest wishes is to someday get to the southern hemisphere and have someone really knowledgable show me around the skies there. But wait, I'd want to see the WHOLE sky, so it looks like I'll have to go twice, once in summer and again in winter. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif



My friend, when the skies get clear (mostly from March to November)it is really wonderful. Last night the sky was crystal clear (a break in the looming rainy season), with some of the most beautiful features of the southern skies parading before me. There was Sigma Octantis, Orion in great shape, the Pleiades (I was able to spot nine stars with unaided eyes!)*, and, last but not least, two faint, fast moving meteors. This time of year, the shy constelations of Cetus, Eridanus and Sculptor dominate the sky at midnight, along with Piscis Australis, with the powerful Fomalhaut (Alpha Piscis Austrini). A good thing here is that you can have the best of both halves of the sky. I can have a pretty good sight of the northern sky while the southern (approximate) polar star is twinkling up well above the horizon.

I'd like to see again the northern skies from, say, 50 deg N, just as you'd like to see the southern. There are times when I travel to the North of Brazil on vacations (2000 miles from where I live - a paradise!) close to the Equator, and I see the Big Dipper over the horizon. I use to spend hours watching it. I'd like to see it in all its glory, at the zenith. I hope someday...

If you ever come to Brazil, let me know. You could visit me in my ranch. I'll be your guide to the southern skies.

(*)Except for my looking-glass








<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2001-11-22 10:22 ]</font>

Trish
2001-Nov-23, 07:52 AM
On 2001-11-19 16:43, Wiley wrote:
At 1:00 AM it was cloudy, but by three it was absolutely clear. I think all the clouds moved onto to Ohio. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

We saw about a hundred in a half hour, 3:00 - 3:30. Except for lights of Boulder, it was perfect viewing.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wiley on 2001-11-19 16:44 ]</font>


And you didn't head up the canyon? I at least have an excuse - I had to work.

ljbrs
2001-Nov-24, 07:43 PM
Look, I live in Michigan (the cloudy, misty, rainy, snowy state) and I do not want to hear anything about the fabulous Leonids. So there! Take that! And that! And that!

I did other things which are permitted for Michiganian amateur astronomers: Sleep, sleep, and more sleep.

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Torsten
2001-Nov-24, 09:37 PM
RMallon suggested:

"Torsten, hope you'll post some of your Leonid time exposures for us!"

Well, as I feared, even though we were a few kilometres out of town, there was too much haze and too much of the town's light reflecting off of it. The long exposures are quite washed out. The first one I took shows only Jupiter. Of the 6 images, the last three show recognizable constellations of trailed stars in a grey sky, but no meteor streaks. There was significant vignetting as well, with the centres of the photos being brighter than the edges. One of the pictures shows Orion on the bottom with Jupiter and Saturn on either side above, and the Hyades and Pleiades as well. Another is a view somewhat higher, with Jupiter and Saturn at the bottom of the image and Auriga above. None, however, are very good.

But now I have a few ideas for next time! I think I'll try to first take some constellation portraits with the 50 mm lens, using shorter exposures. And I'll be rigourous about bracketing the exposures and recording the times, so that I can learn what works. I may even try to make a piggy-back bracket for my ETX and see if I can minimize the star trails (again, not expecting much success here -- the drive was not designed for this sort of thing).

The funny thing is, though I have taken some solar images (including a partial eclipse from last year) I've always hesitated to take these sorts of photos, fearing that I'd be wasting film. That was a really dumb attitude to have. As it turns out, it was quite easy and very satisfying to take these pictures, even with the relatively poor results I got.

So I will try it again. And maybe I'll have something worth posting.

David Hall
2001-Nov-25, 09:38 AM
On 2001-11-22 05:24, Argos wrote:

If you ever come to Brazil, let me know. You could visit me in my ranch. I'll be your guide to the southern skies.


Argos, thank you for your wonderful offer. I wish I could take you up on it. It doesn't look like I'll be getting to South America very soon though. I'm about as far from you as I can get and still be on the same planet. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

I hope you get the chance to see the north just as I wish to see the south. But your situation already sounds wonderful to me (except for the nasty rainy-season description). It sounds to me like you've already seen most of it. From the U.S. and Japan you can't see much further south than Orion. Light pollution is also becoming a very serious problem, and it's hard to find very dark skies except in the far west of the USA, and even then you have to travel an hour outside of any major city.

Japan is even worse in many ways, but I've also found it better in some ways also. Up in the mountains away from the major cities it can be beautiful, and I think there's something about the types of lights used here or the atmospherics which seem to make sky glow less green and washed out than I remember from back home. But the big problem is finding a site that doesn't have a lot of local lighting to interfere with you're vision. Since I don't have any personal transportation, it's very difficult for me to get out to any decent sites.

dsbhatt
2001-Nov-25, 02:23 PM
i saw leonid shower in india...it was a feast to the eyes on nov.19 4 am ist.

Argos
2001-Nov-26, 10:26 AM
Light pollution is also becoming a very serious problem (...)
Japan is even worse in many ways(...)

Indeed my friend. In night satellite pictures you can see Japan's map perfectly outlined. I live in a very dense urban region, but nothing that compares to your case. The problem is that the situation is getting worse, worldwide. A real shame.

Tim Thompson
2001-Nov-27, 01:04 AM
I observed the Leonids from the Steve Kufeld Astronomical Site (http://www.laas.org/lockwood.html) (the site owned by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society (http://www.laas.org/)). It is located in Lockwood Valley, Ventura County, about 80 miles NW of the Los Angeles basin, and a but SE of Mt. Pinos. For the last several years of Leonid watching, the overnight low temperature was about 25F. This time around we stopped watching the thermometer after it fell to 19F. I am quite certain that it got still colder (the digital thermometer frosted over anyway), and figure it was about 15F much of the night. It was uncomfortably cold, which does impact meteor viewing.

Nevertheless, it was a good show. We had Jack Popejoy with us, a senior reporter for KFWB news radio (http://www.kfwb.com/), and fairly well known as the local radio earthquake expert in L.A. He also happens to have a B.A. in Astronomy, of all things. he countred 800 meteors during the peak hour. We had a community college class visiting, and one of those students counted to about 475 when he gave up. One other counter claimed 1000 during the same hour. I didn't count myself, but it's clear that we had a good turnout of meteors, whether it was really 800 or really 1000. I don't think the counts were as methodical as they could have been.

There were a few bright Taurids, and a few weird interlopers. One early in the evening, barely after sunset, was the biggest and brightest of the night, streaking slowly over the southern horizon. It could have been a Taurid, or at least that's more likely than a Leonid. But late there was a slow poke that walked along the northern horizon just above the hill tops. There were three really bright flash bulb exploders, and I missed them all! One went off behind me, and the two that were in front of me were both behind either of the only two trees that could block anything. There were quite a few midget meteors, or so I thought. I also noticed several in-yer-face meteors out of Leo with no discernable train at all, just little flash bulbs.

The only thing I found disappointing was the the 1998 Leonids produced more of the really long lasting trains, that I could watch in binoculars for 10 or 15 minutes. There were some of those this time around too, but not as many, and the trains were not as persistent.

I also notice a large discrepancy in counted rates. We saw 800 to 1000 per hour, matching the preliminary report from Apache Point of 800 per hour. But I met up with some friends who were in the eastern Mojave desert, experienced observers who counted over 2000 per hour. Likewise, Mt. Lemmon in Arizona was over 2600 as I recall. The only thing I can think of is that the count of midgets and dim meteors is affected by sky brightness. Where we were, the lights of L.A. (and Valencia) to the south are a real problem, and were visibly lighting up clouds in that area. Our southern sky was definitely brightened up, and that includes the area of Orion. My guess is that sky brightness is more likely to be a big deal than variations in density of meteors across the orbit.

My only other complaint is that the constant reporting of meteors in terms of a normalized rate per hour is confusing, misleading, and uninformative. The correct way to report meteors should be (in my opinion), to bin the real count with time. Instad of seeing a linear plot in meteors per hour running through time, I would like to see a histogram plot of meteors counted per 5 or 10 minute time period. That strikes me as far more informative, and I think most people overcount due to exuberance anyway.

It was fun, despite the fact that my sleeping bag froze.

RMallon
2001-Nov-30, 10:55 AM
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast30nov_1.htm?list482392

...from the site:

During the 2001 Leonid meteor storm, astronomers observed a curious flash on the Moon -- a telltale sign of meteoroids hitting the lunar surface and exploding.

ToSeek
2001-Dec-05, 03:50 PM
Great shot of the Leonids on APOD, clearly demonstrating how they radiate:

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap011205.html

RMallon
2001-Dec-08, 04:02 AM
Couple more cool pics/write ups on the recent Leonids.......
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap011208.html

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap011207.html

Josh_imported
2001-Dec-16, 11:49 PM
David Hall wrote, "But the big problem is finding a site that doesn't have a lot of local lighting to interfere with you're vision. Since I don't have any personal transportation, it's very difficult for me to get out to any decent sites."


I know exactly what you mean about the viewing conditions-especially in Kansai. I live a mountain range away from Osaka and a thirty minute train ride from Kyoto, and on slightly hazy nights the sky is awash in pink light. We were pretty lucky on the night of the peak, though. It's been uncharacteristically crisp and clear lately. Hope it continues.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Josh on 2001-12-16 18:50 ]</font>

Chip
2001-Dec-17, 05:47 PM
On 2001-12-16 18:49, Josh wrote:
David Hall wrote, "But the big problem is finding a site that doesn't have a lot of local lighting to interfere with you're vision. Since I don't have any personal transportation, it's very difficult for me to get out to any decent sites."


I know exactly what you mean about the viewing conditions-especially in Kansai. I live a mountain range away from Osaka and a thirty minute train ride from Kyoto, and on slightly hazy nights the sky is awash in pink light. We were pretty lucky on the night of the peak, though. It's been uncharacteristically crisp and clear lately. Hope it continues.


=====

When was working and traveling in Japan, (1990 - 1996,) I noticed good viewing up in the Tohoku region north of Sendai, and up in Hokaido when I visited the little town of Otaru. (Sapporo like Osaka has all those neon covered buildings at night - pretty to see, but forget astronomy!) Of course, there are probably lots of good spots throughout the country, so you probably don't have to spend big yen on a bullet train ride to get to a remote area.

Maybe a Japanese poster can help us "gaijin" out with some suggested viewing locations.
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2001-12-17 12:50 ]</font>

David Hall
2001-Dec-18, 12:27 PM
Yes, the northern part of Japan is less densely populated than the south and west, especially Hokkiado. I'm sure there are some wonderful areas up there (never been that way myself).

I know of a couple of decent places around Osaka that aren't too bad, but they still require some travel. There is a nice spot north of Kyoto, I think it's called Arama?, where there is a large temple on the top of a mountain. It's nice and open with only a couple of dim red lanterns that don't interfere with seeing. Only two problems, late in the evening the priests all start their evening services or something, and walk around with their flashlights. It was kind of disturbing, but they completely ignored us as we watched the sky. Second, there seemed to be some sky glow from Kyoto to the south, but I couldn't tell for sure as the seeing wasn't so good that night anyway. I'm thinking of heading back there again in the spring. I'd sure hate to lug a telescope up that mountain path. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

An even better place is south of Nara, again up in the mountains but about 2.5 hours from where I live. It's an actual Astronomy-themed resort called "Hoshi no Kuni" (The Land of Stars). It combines a working observatory and planetarium with a hot spring and cabins for camping in. Actually, the combination is a bit too commercial and kiddified for my tastes, but it is conducive for serious observing. You can rent telescopes, which is nice. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what the skies are like there, because the night we reserved (and I took a special day off for) ended up being overcast and foggy. Very foggy. I was very disappointed. We did get to see a halfway decent planetarium show though. I want to go back, but you have to reserve in advance and pay, even if the weather is bad, so I'm not sure I want to risk that kind of money again. It is a nice setup though.

Here's the Hoshi no Kuni homepage. Beware, it's all in Japanese, but you can look at the pictures if you want.
http://www.vill.ootou.nara.jp/hoshi/hoshmain.htm