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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Update: Later this Week -- Leonid Promises Fireballs Tuesday Morning
:: 3 AM CST ::

Heads Up
retrievals by Pat Darnell

Leonid meteors shower 2009 from Think Pictures on Vimeo.
This years' Leonids came a couple days early, and not only did it put on an excellent show this year, I captured a couple of those really high altitude smoke trails left by the larger meteor streaks. I've only seen this one other time and that was by the naked eye during the Leonid meteor shower event in 2004. Seeing it timelapsed really offers a unique look at the dissipation of the smoke trail that follows the streak.

You may have to step through it to see during the main event, but I've showcased both of them at the end of the video.

Every 33 years the Tempel-Tuttle Comet visits the inner solar system filling Earth's skies with a shower of meteors. Debris from this particular comet are called Leonids because they appear to originate in the part of the sky where the Leo constellation is located. Though this year's Leonid Meteor Shower took place last week, the meteors that people observed were actually emitted by the comet in the years 1466 and 1533. Most of the meteoric activity was predicted to occur over Asia, but it seems that the most stunning amateur video came from other parts of the world, including the US. Some of it looks like it came straight out of a big budget sci-fi thriller. [SOURCE]
This [next]video was captured on November 21st by an office building's security camera in Midrand, South Africa. It takes a few seconds but boy is it worth it.

Footage from the security camera of the Mustek building in Midrand of the meteor shower that took place on 21 Nov 2009.

Footage from Leonid Meteor Shower November 17th, 2009

"When to watch:
Earth will pass through one of the denser debris streams at around 4 a.m. ET (1 a.m. PT) Tuesday. If you have only an hour or less to watch, center it around this time. Leo will be high in the sky for East Coast skywatchers, putting more meteors into view. In the West, Leo will be low in the eastern sky at this time, so fewer shooting stars will be above the horizon, and therefore Western skywatchers should also try to stick it out until daybreak."
It’s prime time for colorful meteor shower
Annual Leonid display should be good in North America, even better in Asia
[Excerpt]" ... This year the moon is near its new phase, and thus it won't be a factor that detracts from the show. For anyone in the Northern Hemisphere with dark skies, away from urban and suburban lighting, the meteor shower should be worth getting up early to see ... "
By Robert Roy Britt, Editorial director

"We're predicting 20 to 30 meteors per hour over the Americas, and as many as 200 to 300 per hour over Asia," said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. Other astronomers who work in the nascent field of meteor shower prediction have put out similar forecasts.

"Urban dwellers and suburbanites will see far fewer, as the fainter meteors will be drowned out by local lights.
"Behind the Leonids
"The Leonids are created by Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which passes through the inner solar system every 33 years on its orbit around the sun. Each time by, it leaves a new river of debris, consisting mostly of bits of ice and rock no bigger than a sand grain, but including a few the size of a pea or marble." (Cooke, Bill; NASA, excerpts retrieved today by PDarnell, SOURCE)"
[See: also --]
On This Date in History - November 16
From Nick Greene, Guide
[-- AND --]
[HERE] November Highlight - A Lion Roars
Mike Koop (California Meteor Society), Peter Jenniskens (NASA Ames Research Center)November brings the usual suspects [ ... ], but more on that in a moment. November also brings the Leonids Meteor Shower. [ ... ]

The Leonids are expected to peak on the 17th.

Jupiter is still well placed for viewing with your telescope. Mars is now rising before midnight and visible through most of the night. Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky while Venus sinks lower. Another treat this month could be the asteroid Vesta in the early morning hours of the 24th.

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