Follow up on Leonids

Subject: Leonids
   Date: Sat, 04 Oct 1997 17:34:03 
   From:  Shelby, W8WN 

     Ideas for the Leonids:

We know that the Leonids have a 33.2 year cycle (Comet P/Temple-Tuttle),
that this year the Earth plunges thru the comet's orbital plane about 1240
UTC, 17 November, and that the Leonids are a very high-velocity shower
(entering the atmosphere at abt 72 km/sec).  We also know that the ZHR most
years is no more than 10-20, but has been increasing the past two years.
And we know that in 1966 it produced a meteor storm so large that arguments
about the true ZHR at the peak differ by many thousands, maybe by an order
of magnitude or more!

We also know that the most likely year for a really LARGE peak is 1998 or
1999.  But the geometry of the of the orbits causes the alignment to be
poorer than it was in 1966.

If the peak, which is VERY sharp and probably less than an hour, occurs
this year in the 1030-1300 UTC period as predicted, this would favor the
Western U.S.  North-south paths are favored.  The predicted peak time for
the next two years would favor Asia.  So what is the best stragedy as the
peak time approaches?

1.  An obvious, and probably good, idea would be to sit on 144.200, +/-,
SSB, and try to work as many as possible on random.  If the peak is very
good, this might be the best.

2.  Using HSCW, it should be possible to make and complete a number of
skeds before and after the probable peak period.  If we have enough HSCW
stations on, CQs on 144.100 would be a very good idea.  If we have no more
than about 12-15 scattered over the whole continent, the CQs probably would
not raise many answers.
Making "routine" HSCW skeds during the peak time of a major shower is
considered by the Europeans to be a bad idea.

3.  A long-haul sked could be made for the peak time in hopes of breaking
the North American MS DX record (whatever that is).  Another idea is to
pre-establish a sked or two, with everything decided except the time.  If
and when condx start looking good, a phone call from either station would
initiate the start of the sked.  This would require a quick phone call
instead of using the Internet, and having no other skeds around the peak
time.   A 432 MHz HSCW sked instead of a long-DX 144 sked might be another

4.  Maybe all of the above!  Guess this depends upon your primary interests
in MS, your location, whether or not you can be active during the likely
peak time, what other HSCW stations are within range, etc.  I don't even
know what I'll be doing; maybe #4.

Because of the possibility of a major shower, the fact that possible
distances are a little greater with the high velocity meteors, and the fact
that we have the ability to change modes as needed, we should be making our
plans and letting our availability be known.


Some of you may have heard that Tihomir's (9A4GL) father passed away a few
days ago.  I have sent him a sympathy msg from myself and for all the HSCW
ops over here.  Some of you might wish to send an individual message, also.

73, Shelby, W8WN

Shelby, W8WN - EM77bq


Comments: Rein, W6/PA0ZN

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