[HSMS] Fwd: Meteor Alert, The LEONIDS..

Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 19:37:22 +0000
To: hsms@tree.net, meteor-scatter@qth.net, meteor-scatter@ns3.qth.net
From:  Shelby Ennis, W8WN 
Subject: [HSMS] Fwd: METEOR ALERT!  Leonids d...

>From:  Joe Rao 
>Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 00:55:52 -0500 (EST)
>To: W8WN@ne.infi.net
>Subject: Fwd: METEOR ALERT!  Leonids d...
>Shelby -- nice talking with you again.  Here is the alert on the Leonids that
>I've generated.  Here's wishing us all luck on Monday morning!
>-- Joe
>Forwarded message:
>Subj:    METEOR ALERT!  Leonids due to peak early Monday!
>Date:    97-11-12 01:00:20 EST
>From:    Skywayinc
>On Monday morning, November 17th, the Leonid meteors are scheduled to reach
>maximum.  This year is particularly interesting, in that the parent comet of
>this particular meteor swarm -- 55P/Tempel-Tuttle -- is due to arrive at its
>perihelion on February 28th of next year.  Because of these circumstances,
>there has been some discussion about the possibility that a  meteor storm
>"could" occur.  In some ways, the upcoming Leonid shower does indeed bear a
>similarity to the comet-Earth geometry that accompanied the Great Leonid
>Meteor Storm of 1799, which was observed from Peru by the Prussian scientist
>and explorer, Alexander von  Humboldt.
>In that particular case, the Earth led the comet to the descending node by
>116.9 days.  Similarly, this year, the comet follows Earth to the node by 108
>However. . . the respective orbits are much farther apart in 1997 as opposed
>to 1799.  .  . the difference being 0.0048 a.u. or approximately 718,000
>kilometers.   Thus, the odds of a storm are greatly reduced.
>Nonetheless, it will certainly be worthwhile to keep a careful watch for any
>potentially unusual meteor activity; with the parent comet so close to its
>nodal crossing point, there is always the possibility of a brief outburst of
>activity. . . and/or some unusually brilliant fireballs or bolides.  Last
>year, reports received indicated meteors that left luminous trains for in
>excess of five minutes.  One especially brilliant meteor seen over the Canary
>Islands, left a trail that lingered for nearly 30 minutes!
>There are two specific time frames to be especially alert to.  One is when
>the Earth crosses the comet's node, which is to occur at 5:34 a.m. Pacific
>time on Monday morning.  Unfortunately, for those in the eastern and central
>U.S., this occurs after sunrise.  
>The other time frame is 5:40 a.m. Eastern time. . . 2:40 a.m. Pacific time.
> This corresponds to the moment when the Earth will be passing that part of
>55P/Tempel-Tuttle's orbit which produced the epic meteor storm of 1966.
> According to Mr. Peter Brown of the International Meteor Organization (IMO)
>some slight enhanced activity has been noted near this region of space during
>the last two Leonid showers.  It will be interesting to see if anything
>unusual is again noted this year when the Earth once again encounters this
>region of space.
>The major drawback of this year's Leonids will be the bright light of the 89%
>waning gibbous Moon, which will positioned near Orion's upraised club --
>roughly 55 degrees east of the Leonid radiant.  No doubt a large number of
>faint meteors will be washed-out by the Moonlight, but with the hope of
>sighting some bright fireballs and bolides, it may still be worthwhile to get
>out and observe.  Some may use the Moon as an excuse not to get out and
>observe, but  this year's Leonids may be worth the effort.  
>Meteors appear to fan-out from the "Sickle" of Leo.  The Sickle rises out of
>the east-northeast around midnight and is high toward the south-southeast by
>dawn.  If you do go out and observe, we'd sure like to hear about what you've
>seen.  Good Luck!
>Joe Rao
C U on HSCW.  73, W8WN


Comments: Rein, W6/PA0ZN

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