Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2001 November 16
Explanation: Will the Leonids storm this year? The annual Leonid meteor shower should peak this weekend and some predictions suggest that "storm" rates of a thousand or more meteors per hour are possible for observers located in eastern North and Central America during the early morning hours of Sunday, November 18. Similar high rates are also anticipated for the western Pacific region on the morning of November 19th. In any event, the 2001 Leonid shower should be dramatic and easy to watch, as were the Leonids of recent years. From top left to bottom right above are spectacular examples of bright fireball meteors from the 1998 Leonid shower as recorded by V. Winter and J. Dudley, Lorenzo Lovato, and Wally Pacholka. A 1998 image from the Puckett Observatory at lower left features the source of the debris stream which supplies the Leonid meteors, comet Tempel-Tuttle.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.