Studio Ideas and Inspiration

Leonid meteor shower

Posted in events, studio 2a_2009 by Sarah Gelbard on 16 November 0209

HEY! Check this out –

“The Leonid meteor shower is active from November 5 through the 30th. This shower is produced by the outbound particles of comet 55P Temple-Tuttle, which last passed through the inner solar system in 1998. The Earth passes closest to the comet’s orbit on November 17. It is during then that the best Leonid activity can appear
In mid-November the constellation of Leo rises near 2300 (11pm) local standard time. LST is your time local regardless of location. You may see meteor activity during the early evening hours, but they will certainly not be Leonids! The Leonids (like all meteors) cannot be seen until they strike that portion of the atmosphere that is visible from your observing site. … You may get lucky and actually see an Leonid “earthgrazer” during the late evening hours. These meteors are different than your average “shooting star” in that they are very long and also long-lasting. The brightest ones can stretch from horizon to horizon, lasting five seconds or more (an eternity compared to the average duration of 0.3 seconds). …
One should plan to watch for at least one hour to get a good feeling for the meteor activity. Meteor activity notoriously occurs in bunches with one period being very active and another totally lacking. These odd periods usually don’t last longer than 15-30 minutes so at least an hour’s watch is recommended. No one can stand for an entire hour and be comfortable so it would be advisable to use a lounge chair. November mornings can be downright cold in some areas so wrap up warmly and keep your head covered.” (read more)

So apparently you should be able to see one of the best meteor showers in the last couple years on Monday night / Tuesday morning (it’s not terribly clear, as they keep referring to “universal time”). From more than one source, it is said that the best activity will be visible from 11pm to 4am – according to these basic viewing instructions, you’ll get a better show as the night goes on, especially before the morning twilight (a few sites have said that you’ll begin to lose visibility shortly after 4am – but that is when the most activity should be happening). Bit of a stretch, I know, but this comet only passes once or twice in a lifetime – I’m going to give it a shot.

Originally posted by Matthew

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