October 23, 2014

Will the Leonids Perform in 2009?

Looking East at about 1:30 AM local. (Credit: Redshift 7).

Looking East at about 1:30 AM local. (Credit: Redshift 7).

This week marks the return of the Space Shuttle Atlantis to orbit for its second to last flight, as well as the peak of the Leonid meteor shower. This is the notorious shower that has produced storm level peaks in access of 10,000 per hour in 1966 and 1833. This storm emanates from material shed by comet 51P Temple-Tuttle, and generally peaks once every 33 years or so around November 17th. Most years, the Leonids are a feeble 10 meteors per hour shower barely warranting attention. [Read more...]