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Space Science

Leonid Meteor Shower 2002 193

Posted by michael
from the rise-and-shine dept.
Jacer writes "Adler press reports that 'approximately every 33 years the Leonid Meteor shower becomes a breathtaking meteor storm -- capable of illuminating the night sky with thousands of meteors per hour. Astronomers predict that the height of the storm over North America in 2002 could possibly generate 40 meteors every minute -- over 2,400 per hour!' Space.com has plenty of information available. I wanted to submit it early so you could plan ahead. It'd make for a long work or school day, but it's not something I'd care to miss."
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Leonid Meteor Shower 2002

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  • by stoffel (106124) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:08AM (#4616531) Homepage
    where's my wishlist...
  • Last year? (Score:3, Funny)

    by c.derby (574103) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:09AM (#4616535)
    I thought this was last year... Or was there another meteor shower?
    • Re:Last year? (Score:2, Informative)

      by ggram (62487)
      I think they say this every year. "It's going to be good this year, don't miss it...", I've seen it the last 3 years and it is impressive, but hasn't been 40/min yet. Who knows, maybe this will finally be the year.
      • Re:Last year? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fjordboy (169716)
        last year it was over 40/minute at times. I saw it at Camp Susque [susque.org], which is sorrounded by mountains (which means not too much light pollution...but..you also have limited viewing). We got some great pictures of them too..check my webpage [peterswift.org] later this evening and a lot of them will be posted...Last year was incredible..best I've ever seen it....we couldn't look anywhere and *not* see meteors at its peak (and several fireballs!). I plan on going out again this year....if it is half as good as last year, it will be mighty impressive.
        • I watched them last year. Yet it's happening again this year?

          Does this mean that 33 years have pasted since last year, or am I missing something important about "Every 33 Years".
          • The 33 years thing is (should be) the cycle of the comet that creates the dust clouds we pass through. We will have leonid meteor showers every year, but the 33 year cycle determines how great the display is. We aren't guaranteed a phenomonal display every 33 years, it is just more likely. *shrug* It is confusing. However, if you want to see my pics from last year's shower (I finally got them uploaded), go to my webpage [peterswift.org].
    • Re:Last year? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Gamasta (557555)
      I thought this was last year... Or was there another meteor shower?

      I actually thought the same thing. The Leonide shower is a yearly event due to dust located on earths track. Now some years ago a comet passed on this track and released new dust (much dust), so it was really spectacular last year or the year before. This happens every 33 years. In China people really observed a meteor thunderstorn, like 3600 meteors/h. I've seen some great long-exposition photos. (no, you don't call it a shot ;-) )

      This year you should expect to see far less meteors, much closer to the usual "background" levels. Still it could happen that some dust was left on the track or has re-arranged so it'll be there exactly when your country is at night. I was very unlucky when I tried to observe the shower - for I slept and only saw 2 - but my wishes came true: girlfriend and job... but it took some long time to fullfill. So good luck with the shower then.
    • I thought this was last year... Or was there another meteor shower?

      You're mistaken. That was the leonid shower of 2001 that rotates 33 years.

      The truth is that there are 33 different leonid showers in the family, each of which peak every 33 years.

      Although this leonid shower may be greatest show within 33 years for any leonid shower on this rotation, it's really meaningless. It's the greatest of all within the set, and the number of elements in the set is one.

  • by Adam Rightmann (609216) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:09AM (#4616539)
    is the peak. A little detail that would have been better in the introductory text.
    • Morning for which time zone?

      (typing this real slow because I have to wait 20 seconds. grrr.)
      • by polymath69 (94161) <dr,slashdot&mailnull,com> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @12:02PM (#4617480) Homepage
        Morning for which time zone?

        Basically for every time zone. You see, as the Earth rotates on its axis, it is also orbiting the sun. Some part of the Earth has to be plowing headlong into the trail of dust. And that has to happen at either the "dawn" line or the "sunset" line (think about it.)

        If the Earth spun the other way 'round, meteor showers would always be best just after sunset. But, sadly, I was not consulted during the design phase...

        Now that's the general principle. In this case, astronomers are predicting two particularly dense sections of the dust trail, one intersecting Earth's orbit at dawn Europe, and another around dawn East Coast Americas. But even people not in these locations should see the best local view at about an hour before sunrise.

      • Morning for every time zone. Meteors are most likely to enter the atmosphere near where the time is just before sunrise.
  • by PhysicsGenius (565228) <physics_seekerNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:12AM (#4616557)
    Has it been 33 years since the last one [googlism.com] already? And 66 years since the one before that [slashdot.org]?

    And damn, I'm pretty sharp to have caught this, since I'm pushing 90 now...

    • Re:How time flies! (Score:2, Informative)

      by sartin (238198)

      No, it's been one year since the last annual Leonid shower. However, it has been 33 years since the last peak of the shower, as the article said (emphasis mine):

      approximately every 33 years the Leonid Meteor shower
      becomes a breathtaking meteor storm

      In other (perhaps better, perhaps not) words, although the shower comes every year, the peak comes every 33 years.

  • by Botunda (621804) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:12AM (#4616563)
    Is get the hell away from NYC so I can see the sky fall.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm getting a meteor shower =) (19 nov)
  • Rerun... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:13AM (#4616568) Homepage Journal
    approximately every 33 years the Leonid Meteor shower becomes a breathtaking meteor storm

    That was sooo last year! [slashdot.org]

    and it was pretty cool to watch while lying in the back of my pickup in the Mohave desert, hundreds of miles away from cloudy home!

    • Re:Rerun... (Score:5, Informative)

      by chacha (166659) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:28AM (#4616666)
      The Leonids happen every year, but on some years, they're brighter and fall at a greater frequency. It all depends on exactly how Earth passes through the Leonid stream from Comet Temple-Tuttle, which passes near our orbit every 33 years. However, even if the comet isn't there, its dust trails from previous orbits still are, and the big Leonid years are the years when we'll be passing through a more recent trail. Last year was supposed to be a Big Year because we passed through 2 dust trails. If this year is anything at all like last year, it should be a heck of a sight...

      Now, if only there weren't that pesky nearly-full moon at the same time.
      • by devnulljapan (316200) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @11:06AM (#4616991)
        But it looks like this will be the last Leonid shower for quite a while. [skyandtelescope.com]

        As the comet Tempel-Tuttle approaches the Sun toward a May 2031 perihelion, it will pass within 1.5 a.u. of Jupiter in August 2029. This encounter will push the comet closer to the Sun and increase the distance between Earth's orbit and the comet's to 0.0162 a.u. -- their largest separation since 1733. Such a large gulf between the two orbits may preclude any substantial meteor activity for the year 2031, and for several years thereafter, when the next cycle of Leonid storms would normally be expected.

        In examining this next Leonid cycle, McNaught has found three outlying dust trails that the Earth will approach in the years 2033 and 2034. "Unfortunately," he notes, "they are probably too distant for any reasonable chance of high activity."

        There will be little improvement at the comet's subsequent return in 2065, for the separation between the orbits of the comet and the Earth will have diminished only slightly to 0.0146 a.u.

        In 2098 the separation of the orbits shrinks to 0.0062 a.u. And in 2131, for the first time since 1633, the comet crosses our orbital plane slightly outside the Earth's orbit at a distance of 0.0089 a.u. Not until one, or both, of these remote years can our great grandchildren expect to witness a storm of Leonid meteors.

        So get out there and see the damn thing. I'm in Northern Thailand, so not much hope for me :-(

  • earth push (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by bumby (589283)
    Hackers unite!
    Push the earth so that it will spin faster,
    so that I'll see the "rain" here in sweden too ;-P

    On 3
    1
    2
    3 PUUUSH
  • by Alcimedes (398213) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:13AM (#4616574)
    ha ha, i still remember how last year was going to be this great meteor shower, and it was going to be the biggest one in a hundred years.

    so me, being a sucker, sat outside in the mountains and froze my can off waiting for the sky to light up like it was US vs. Iraq and got jack

    well, it wasn't exactly jack, but it certainly wasn't like daylight. however i will say that it was still one of the coolest things i've ever seen, and by all accounts it was a minor one. if you have the chance i highly recommend watching these. if nothing else it's a nice quiet hour or two to appreciate that some of the best things in life have nothing to do with technology.

  • by twoslice (457793) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:15AM (#4616587)
    Look Skyward November 19 In The Early Morning Hours To Catch The Leonid Meteor Shower.

    And just what! am I going to use to catch a Leonid meteor? and if I do, can I sell it on EBay without NASA busting me for selling a piece of space rock that they say belongs to them?
  • by hikeran (561061)
    Somebody set us up the Meteor shower!
  • by thehun101 (218731) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:17AM (#4616605)
    I have always wanted to watch the Leonid Meteor Shower, but unfortunately I live in Cleveland where we have two types of weather. Cloudy, and Cloudy with Rain.
  • Remind Us! (Score:5, Funny)

    by DarkHelmet (120004) <mark.seventhcycle@net> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:21AM (#4616621) Homepage
    I hope Slashdot is actually kind enough to remind us of this CLOSER to the date...

    I'd hate to end up missing something like this and instead be out having meaningless sex...

  • by Quaoar (614366)
    ...that smashing head-first into a powered CRT monitor gives the same effect.
  • Gonna do it again (Score:5, Informative)

    by r_j_prahad (309298) <r_j_prahad AT hotmail DOT com> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:24AM (#4616645)
    Last year I went camping out in the Arizona desert to watch these. I'll be going back there again this year as well.

    Something I discovered last year... if you plan on doing any time exposure photography, don't leave the shutter open for as long as you normally would for a night sky photo. I ended up with a lot of fogged prints because of the high occurence of super-bright meteoroids. You know the ones I mean, the kind you can almost read by, the ones that leave fluorescing smoke trails that seem to linger for five or ten seconds.

    And too bad I get drug screened where I work, it could've been a "wow - bitchin'" night.
    • Can you recommend any online resources for anyone that wants to attempt some time exposure photography, especially for a noob (such as myself)?

      Thanks!
    • The drugs that work best with a meteor shower are all fine, as long as you have a day or two before you're tested.

      LSD [erowid.org] only lasts a few days in your system, same as mushies [erowid.org]. 2C-B [erowid.org] is prolly okay as it's not in the standard tests, and is water soluable so it's out of your system fast. ketamine [erowid.org] is through and through in a few days, same as mescaline [erowid.org].

      All in all, if you want to have a "wow - bitchin'" evening, it's entirely possible. Just don't come into work the next day talking about all the drugs you were doing, and enjoy!

  • by aiabx (36440) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:29AM (#4616673)
    Keep in mind this is two days before the full moon, so you're going to miss a lot of low magnitude meteors.
    -aiabx
  • I love these things, really I do. I always get exicited when I hear about the next comet or shower that can be easily seen without a telescope, and then I manage to sleep through it all. Even when I set the alarm, I just hit the button, then back to sleep. It says 5:30 peak, which is much better than 1 or 2 in the morning. Maybe this will be the time. I'll put the coffee on auto so there's a fresh pot waiting. I hope the weather is good for it. When things only happen once every 100, 70, or 33 years, it seems it should be witnessed by all.
  • Jacer cat got your tongue? (something important seems to be missing from your article submission ... like the date!)



    Considering that you suggest that you are giving an "early warning" and suggesting that "It'd make for a long work or school day" that kind of information might be important.



    BTW Nov. 19th if you didn't make it to the article.


    ----
    katrina's galleries! [katrinagalleries.com]

  • by Hayzeus (596826) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:33AM (#4616722) Homepage
    You'll be blinded, which will make you easy pickin's for the man-eating plants that will have sprouted by next morning. I mean, geez, doesn't anyone else here watch science documentaries?
    • You beat me to my favourite meteor joke!

      And by the way, The Day of the Triffids is a kick ass book, not just a movie to watch in all its Hollywood "glory". John Wyndham kicks butt! He even predicted that man would be able to orbit the moon, in 1969, when writing in the 1930s!. [He thought we would be at Mars by now though, silly him...]
      Triffids shows the dangers of GM food, and having space bourne weapons of mass destruction just waiting for a shower like the Leonid's to wipe humanity clean.
    • Relax and enjoy the show, we're all doomed to become blind anyway [teenoutreach.com]
  • Now or never! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Scarblac (122480) <slashdot@gerlich.nl> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:36AM (#4616741) Homepage

    This year's Leonid shower will be the last one for a long time to come! Earth won't pass through this comet trail for quite a while. The next probable year for a Leonid shower/storm is 2098, or maybe even 2131!

    See this article [skyandtelescope.com] for explanation. The dates are on page 4.

    But for this year, a great show is still expected. So if you have half an option to go outside for a while (say, Nov 19), do so!

    • Re:Now or never! (Score:3, Informative)

      by derch (184205)
      You're a little wrong. The Leonid shower happens every year. Typically, the shower is 10 an hour. This is the last year we will probably seen an amazing show of up to 1000 an hour.

      And the Tempel-Tuttle comes every 1/3 of a century. That's 33 years. The next should be around 2033.
      • Re:Now or never! (Score:3, Informative)

        by derch (184205)
        My bad. Didn't see the 'Next Page' links at the bottom. On the 4th page, it's explained that the orbit of Tempel-Tuttle changes a little on it's next pass or two. We will probably miss the new trail.

        However, there's a slight change we'll hit an old trail or two in 2033 or 2034.

        This probably is the last chance till late this century for a Leonid storm. The Leonid shower still occurs every year, though.
    • The next probable year for a Leonid shower/storm is 2098, or maybe even 2131!
      Well gee, I'm pretty sure I'm going to miss this one, being in the southern hemisphere and all, so I sure do hope the next one is in 2098. I don't think I can wait until 2131!
  • by Didion Sprague (615213) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:36AM (#4616745)
    Before modding this off-topic, read the whole post:

    Quick, any fans of Cormac McCarthy out there?

    What book of his set in the 19th century prominently features the Leonids in the first few paragraphs?

    Answer: Blood Meridian.

    Quite possibly the best American novel written in the second half of the 20th century. It's about a band of American mercenaries who go into Mexico to hunt up scalps for pay.

    (It's also one of the eeriest and most violent American novels written -- heads getting lopped off, horses getting slaughtered, and a very weird, Ahab-like character called 'The Judge' presiding over everything.)

    Anyway, the main character -- the Kid -- is born beneath the Leonids, and the infrequent meteor shower during the night of The Kid's birth makes for a very strange sense of forboding. That, and the fact that the Leonids come every 33 years -- very Christ-like, I suppose -- so the kid gets marked with this odd mixture of innocence, wisdom, and violence.

    So I had no idea what the Leonids were, and after reading Blood Meridian, I thought it was something McCarthy made up. But a little research, of course, proved otherwise.

    The strange thing about the Leonids -- and about the cycle of Halley's (sp?) comet (Mark Twain was born when the comet appeared, died when the comet next appeared) -- makes for some interesting moments in American literature.

    My question -- finally get back on topic -- is this: when all these meteors are shooting through the sky, do they burn up in the atmosphere? Do some make it through? You'd think if there were that many, one or two would cause some serious damage.
  • It will be foggy again.
  • by Cecil (37810) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:44AM (#4616814) Homepage
    Seriously though, I know I plan on attempting to take some pictures this year, and hopefully something will turn out. For those of you complaining about a full moon, the moon doesn't rise until late in the night, which should give plenty of good photography time, particularly for those of us on the west coast.

    If anyone else is interested in this sort of thing but isn't sure how to get started or what you need, this very good beginner's guide [luminous-landscape.com] makes for good reading.
  • One of those meteors will crash to earth and some invisible phantoms are going to emerge from it. They will ravage the earth for 35 years, people will seek refuge in "barrier cities" until a nicely animated, girl with hair from a shampoo ad saves us all. I read about it here [calendarlive.com]
  • Digital Camera Tip: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Manhigh (148034) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:54AM (#4616890)
    Last year was the first year I tried using my digital camera (Olympus C3000) to catch the show, leaving the shutter open for up to 16 seconds.

    What I didnt know is that CCD's have a transient response to temperature. Make sure to get out early and allow your camera time to acclimate to the temperature. Otherwise youll get very speckled photos.
  • by Pat__ (26992) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @11:01AM (#4616945)
    A couple of tips for the first timers.
    - Get away from the city lights (and pullotion) as much as possible.
    - Have a good field of view because they will be all over the sky not just in the vicinity of Leo
    - Do NOT concentrate at the spot where they will come from (Leo) rather about 40 degrees away, as odd as this may seem, the shooting stars around Leo won't leave a long trail (they will be coming towards you ) and you won't be seing much.
  • I've gone out looking for the Leonids for 4 years now. Unless I'm willing to drive several hours from where I live, I'm screwed. And each year they hype this thing more and more. Wasn't last year supposed to be amazing because of some other asteroid thingie? And the year before that... _that_ was supposed to be huge. Oh, and wait, the one before _that_ was supposed to be momentous. Damn nerd hype.
  • by DeadBugs (546475) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @11:07AM (#4616999) Homepage
    I went to the Space.com website and most of the page was obscured by pop-up ads. Sadly this made me remember that last year I got up at 4 a.m. to watch the show and was greeted with thick fog.
  • by idiotnot (302133) <sean@757.org> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @11:09AM (#4617023) Homepage Journal
    I know that this was a problem when I went out to view a storm this past summer; I couldn't see anything because of the haze.

    The Space.com article mentions that costal dwellers (yup, that's me) move inland.

    My question is how much difference will it make when it's November? For the last leonid shower, I watched it out at Sandbridge (rather remote part of Va. Beach), and didn't have problems with the haze. Biggest problems were the cold (we didn't have the bottle of Jagermeister to warm us up like the VCU studends who shared the dune with us), and some clouds.

    Would I be better off going inland, really, than to say, the Outer Banks?
  • by sakusha (441986) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @11:19AM (#4617114)
    Check these out:

    http://www.arm.ac.uk/leonid/dust2002.html

    Looks like we are in line with the dust trails from the famous 1767 and 1866 showers, when "meteors fell like rain." So there's a tiny chance it could be a shower of historic proportions. And of course the computer model for this prediction is experimental, the shower can (and probably will) turn out to be a dud. But ooh that one chance in a million that it could be a shower they're still talking about 200 years from now..
  • Watch out for strange man eating plants!!!!
  • by LiamRandall (257243) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @11:50AM (#4617353) Homepage
    If you are going outside don't forget these essentials:

    -a blanket you don't mind getting mud/grass on

    -a Deet based bug repellent (Unscented Off in the push spray works great)

    -a small flashlight (so you don't ruin your night vision)

    -take your Allegra _before_ you leave

    -pants/long sleeves if you're bothered by bugs

    And I would recommend:

    -pillows

    -snacks (Thermos w/ Hot Chocolate/Coffee, food you can eat with gloves on)

    -spare jacket, sweater, gloves (layers!)

    -wine

    -small radio (I prefer a short-wave; in the middle of no where you can usually pick up different stations)

    -a date ;)

    -xtra blankets to 'cuddle' in
    • I'd addend to the flashlight a red filter as to better preserve your night vision. Novelty red Saran Wrap works pretty well to cover most flashlights, all you need in some wrap and tape. I prefer duct tape to get a better seal against dew as you'll get some condensation on the wrap because of cold air and a hot bulb. Sealing the wrap directly onto the flashlight lens I've found works well. If you've got a military surplus angle head flashlight you can probably pick up a red filter for it from the same place you bought it.

      Also if you're going out in the middle of noplace and decide not to stay until dawn grab some reflective tape to attach strips to stuff you're taking with you like the Thermor or binocs. The full moon will give just enough light for the strips to be seen in the dark so you don't lose them when you set them down in the grass or something. Don't forget strips on your flashlights too. This seems counter intuitive until you set your flash down in the dark grass when its off and can't find it against until you sit on it.
  • by LiamRandall (257243) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @12:17PM (#4617622) Homepage
    For all of the armature astronomers out there with a passing interest in this stuff, here are some helpful links for this years storm:

    Where to find a dark place to view from: DarkSky.org [darksky.org]

    The storm forecast by city (US/World) from NASA: NASA [nasa.gov]

    Astronomy Links In General:

    NASA's J-Pass Satellite Passes [nasa.gov]: Near earth objects(Java,Email)

    NASA's SkyWatch 1.4 [nasa.gov]: Excellent for finding events (Java)

    Satellite Related Software [satobs.org]: For UNIX, Mac, Windows, Palm & more

    SpaceWeather.com [spaceweather.com]: Plan to see the auroras

    SlashDot.org [slashdot.org]: Leonid's Last Year

    Weather.com [weather.com]: Don't forget to check before you leave

    By MichaelCrawford [slashdot.org]: This /.r makes telescopes

    Tips: viewing [slashdot.org] and what [slashdot.org] I [slashdot.org] bring with me.

  • Sorry, full moon (Score:4, Informative)

    by pease1 (134187) <<moc.pmartdnaydal> <ta> <egnubb>> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @12:29PM (#4617725)
    The almost full moon will really impact this show... it will be best to wait until very early morning - 4am on the US east coast when the Moon is about to set, but before morning twilight starts to brighten the sky. Put something - like trees - between you and moon.

    If you are out while the moon is up, you will learn just how bright the moon really is when you are away from city lights. After 20 minutes, you won't need a flashlight. Be sure to notice how you can't detect color very well.

    While the moon is up, you will only see the brightest of the meteors, so don't expect anything like last year. Just hope and pray for a storm during the narrow moon set/twilight window.
    • The predicted peak count is 2-3 times as high as last year's count. The moon will affect your ability to see the dimmer half of the arriving meteoroids. Therefore, you will see about as many streaks this year as you did last year, even though the moon will be interfering.

      Also if you're on the east coast, you will be very close to twilight. This is a blessing and a curse. The extra light means a little more interference towards the back end of the second peak (5:30 to 5:45 AM EST on Nov 19). But it also means that the moon (as good as full) will be very close to the horizon in the opposite direction from Leo at this time, so it will be easier to hide from your view with a mountain or even a grove of trees.
      • Of course that's assuming the meteors are half bright and half dim. In 1999, the show was very nice, but almost entirely made up of bright fireballs. In 2001, there were fewer brighter ones and many more dimmer meteors.

        Yes, putting trees, or even a house between you and the moon might make a difference. Also, wish for very, very transparent - no haze or muck - sky. The more transparent the sky, the less moon light is reflected and the darker the sky will appear.

  • yay (Score:3, Funny)

    by loconet (415875) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @12:59PM (#4618024) Homepage
    Finally being an unemployed programmer pays off. If i had to go to work on Tuesday I wouldn't be able to wake up at 4:00am to check this out.
  • by hndrcks (39873) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @01:13PM (#4618148) Homepage
    ..except for the nearly full Moon. However, during the 'peak' Leonid period (3:30am - until daybreak) there are a number of other fine sights in the sky, many observable with good binoculars or a medium-size telescope:

    1. Saturn's upper pole is currently pointed in our direction, which means you can see more of the rings right now than we will for many years to come.

    2. Jupiter will also be high enough in the sky for a good view. The Galilean moons are breathtaking. On November 18th, viewers in the northern hemisphere will be able to see Ganymede occult Io for about 3 minutes - this kind of event is only possible to view from earth once every six years or so!

    3. The Pleiades, also known as 'Subaru' or 'Seven Sisters', among other names. Very young, bright stars forming from gas disturbed in a supernova. With moderately powered binocs or a small telescope, one can see that the 'seven sisters' are just the brightest of hundreds of stars in an open cluster. An extended-exposure astrophotograph will show the clouds of bluish gas and dust still surrounding the stars.

    4. My favorite - Orion, and the Great Orion Nebula. For viewers in the mid-northern latitudes, look for 3 stars in a straight diagonal line, almost due south at 3:00 am and about 2/3 elevated from the horizon to the zenith. Below those three stars (Orion's Belt) you should be able to find two dimmer stars in a vertical line (Orion's Sword) with a fuzzy patch in between (in darker areas). Good binoculars or a small scope will show one of the most beautiful sights in the sky!

    So even if the Leonids crap out, there will still be things to see! Get that old telescope out and see what you can find!

  • This has to be the third year running I've heard how the Leonid shower is going to be a once in 33 years spectacular experience. Enough already, which year is it and can we dispense with the Leonid hype for the next 32 years if this is indeed the peak?
  • NASA's plans (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kaz Riprock (590115) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:19PM (#4620487)
    In case you were wondering what NASA knows, tells, and plans to do about it:

    http://leonid.arc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]
  • by MaryAlice (602389) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:08PM (#4621032)
    Good. It's nice to see /. doing it's part to help geeks appreciate how important showers are.

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