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Here Come the Leonids 2006 80

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the eye-in-the-sky dept.
yukk writes "The nights and early morning hours of November 17-19 mark the return of the Leonid meteor shower to the skies of Earth. Viewers along the northeastern coast of the United States and Canada, as well as people in Europe and western Africa might get to see a possible 'outburst' of as many as 100-600 meteors per hour. This spike in activity is predicted for 11:45 p.m. — 1:33 a.m. EST on November 18-19 (4:45 — 6:33 UT on November 19)."
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Here Come the Leonids 2006

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  • by cultrhetor (961872) on Friday November 17, 2006 @12:29AM (#16880306) Journal
    We've come out of hyperspace into a meteor shower...
  • by seebs (15766) on Friday November 17, 2006 @12:31AM (#16880324) Homepage
    So, which is more likely:

    * Buying a PS3 this weekend for MSRP
    * Being struck by a meteorite this weekend

    I never thought I'd have to think hard to answer that question.
  • OMG (Score:3, Funny)

    by 0racle (667029) on Friday November 17, 2006 @12:32AM (#16880332)
    They're coming right for us!

    These are the few times that I wish I didn't live in a city
  • by davidwr (791652) on Friday November 17, 2006 @12:35AM (#16880344) Homepage Journal
    I mean, come [slashdot.org] on [slashdot.org] people.

    Wake me up when one of those once-in-a-lifetime comet thingies comes along. :)
    • I like how in 2002 there were 2 dupes, each spaced apart by a couple days. Slashdot will always be the same!

    • The big Leonid outburst (the one that might be like the 1966 "hyperspace" event) was due in 1997 or 1998. This year could be a decent display, though, if you're lucky you might see the odd fireball - which are spectacular.
  • NASA TV (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, 2006 @12:37AM (#16880360)
    NASA will broadcast its 6th annual live Leonids webcast on NASA TV. The server is usually slowed to a crawl for the night but video will be put up the next day for sure.
    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/ [nasa.gov]
    • by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Friday November 17, 2006 @01:23AM (#16880600)
      Alternate source: <img src="http://www.nasa.gov/images/black_pixel.gif" width=640 height=480 alt="Live streaming Leonids video!">
      • by Ziwcam (766621)
        I'm amused that the parent was moderated informative...

        Did the mods even look at the so-called "alternate source" link, or just saw an offer for an alternate source, and decided it must be informative.

        IMHO I would have modded the parent funny.
    • by Saikik (1018772)
      Now granted for instances with cloud cover, or people in different hemispheres ( does that matter? )

      You're telling me nerds would rather watch TV, on the PC, of the sky instead of look up at the sky?
  • for every five meteors that hit the planet 75x.75x.75x.75x.75 or 3 to the 5th over 4 to the 5th will even hit land!
  • by jkantola (84776) on Friday November 17, 2006 @12:54AM (#16880460)
    The meteor intensities mentioned are not for a "normal" Leonid shower, such as this.
    The meteor storms with intensities in the hunderds have a period of 33 years; the previous
    storm occured on and around 2002. By now the storm is twindling to a normal Leonid
    shower -- which is still one of the most amazing yearly sights for a meteor spotter.

    Expect dozes of meteors per hour, and you won't feel so disappointed :)
    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      I don't beieve this. In the last year when the Leoonids came it was either somewhere in the middle of the week (and I had to go to school/university early the next days) or northern Germany was overcast with low clouds. But it's weekend and a quick glance at the Dashboard forecast widget reveals sunny (if cold) weather from saturday onward.

      There's got to be something wrong. I don't believe that it's actually possible to see the Leonids from the Bremen area... Maybe Earth approaches the trail from such an
      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        Ugh. Sp msny zypos. I shouldn't post to Slashdot immediately after waking up.
      • Well, I would expect that a few meteors would be flung around the planet by gravity, and would thus enter the atmosphere all around the planet.
    • The storms are *way* more than this. The last big storm (2000?) had 1 to 10 per second = thousands per hour. The numbers listed here might be more than a normal leonid, but are less than a peak storm event.
      • by noigmn (929935)
        Yeh, I remember the storms at peak. We're amazing down here in Australia. You got bored of shooting stars after a few minutes and just hung out for the massive green fireballs. You could hear them too, like fighter jets. Which I thought was quite cool.
  • by Goldrush (888847) on Friday November 17, 2006 @01:02AM (#16880516)
    A meteor shower will appear to entertain those people waiting in line for the Wii in those early morning hours. The Nintendo God is kind, indeed.
  • Oh no... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So Leonid the Magnificent was just the beginning...
  • Viewers along the northeastern coast of the United States and Canada, as well as people in Europe and western Africa might get to see a possible 'outburst' of as many as 100-600 meteors per hour.


    So, those of us on the West Coast of the U.S. get left out, hmm?

    Those damn insensitive celestial clods...

    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      Northernmost States

      Maine
      New Hampshire/Vermont
      Massachussets/Connecticut/Rhode Island
      New York
      Pennsylvania/New Jersey
      Maryland/Delaware
      Virginia

      ^Mid Eastern U.S.A.

      So who on the East Coast gets left out?
      • I don't know if that's typical American lack of knowledge of Geography, or typical gamer's short attention span. The poster said *WEST* coast, not east.
        California, Oregon and Washington.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lithgon (896737)
      Don't worry. It's mostly cloudy/raining on the east coast.
    • by Bent Mind (853241)
      I caught the 2002 show and was a bit disappointed. I saw maybe 4 meteors per hour. It sucks living in the west. Nothing cool ever happens.
  • Ring Ring (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperStretchy (1018064) <acatzr800@g m a il.com> on Friday November 17, 2006 @01:58AM (#16880764)
    "Hey babe you wanna come over?"
    "Sure... Any reason?"

    "ooo nothing.. just something I have planned"
    *Cue heavenly fireworks*
    • by agent dero (680753) on Friday November 17, 2006 @04:57AM (#16881398) Homepage
      Only on slashdot will a comment like this ever be modded +5 Insightful.

      Once you start taking dating tips from /. comments, its really all downhill after that :)
    • Many years ago we had a full eclipse of the Sun in Melbourne. A new restaraunt planned its grand opening for the date and printed on the invites: "For your amusment and edification, a total Solar Eclipse has been arranged for the afternoon" So after the promised event, the party goers all applauded and yelled "do it again". Or so I have been told. BTW if you ever get chance to be in the path of a total Solar Eclipse, do it - its awesome.
  • We haven't had a cloudless, starry night in weeks. The local viewing has been terrible the last few months. Waaaay too much moisture in the atmosphere. Any way, I hope it clears up for a few minutes at least. I saw this a few years ago and it was quite intense.
  • The Triffids (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Have been waiting for this.

    Come December our Triffid overlords will have complete control!
    • by ArmyOfFun (652320)
      There's no way I'm watching the shower. Everyone else, don't come complain to me that the mean plant stung you because you're blind. You were warned years ago, but you still decided to go out and watch the pretty lights.
  • The closest a geek gets to a shower is when watching a meteor shower. :-)

  • "So, if you are going to observe the shower, make an effort to drive to a location that has few if any lights nearby. (That may require quite a bit of driving these days, but it should be worth it.)"

    Bah! I live in the interior of Alaska. If I turn off my porch lights, the location mentioned above is approximately 1.0m from my house. Too bad I am too far West to really see anything.
  • I watched the show in 2002 while standing in the middle of a country road at about 4 AM. I'm in NW Ohio USA, the night was perfectly clear, and I must have seen a hundred or so meteors over the space of an hour or so. It was one of the most remarkable celestial displays I've ever seen. Alas, as another poster mentioned, we've had lousy weather here, overcast and rainy, so I'll just have to hope for a clear patch some time during the night. I'd love to watch the Leonids again.
  • Klendathu I'm not worried.
  • I live in the city, you insensitive clod!
  • us living south of the Equator. Will it be visible in Brazil?

  • I read that headline and thought you were referring to an army of this guy [youtube.com] .. AHH!!!
  • (The predictions vary depending on when Earth actually passes through the trail: earlier, fewer meteors -- later, more meteors.)

    Umm, they can't figure out when the Earth passes through the meteor shower? I didn't realize the Earth's rotation and the speed of the meteors were variable!
    • by HuguesT (84078)
      No they can't because the location, dimensions and density of the meteor cloud are not known. The rocks that make up the shower are really tiny ! Estimations are made from previous meteor showers, this is the best we can do so far.
  • by w9wi (162482) on Friday November 17, 2006 @11:33AM (#16884416)
    I might mention that the meteor trails you see also refract radio signals. [wikipedia.org]

    How to listen:
    1. Use the best FM radio you have. In most cases, this is your car radio. AM/MW doesn't work.
    2. Find the most open frequency possible. It's best if you can find a frequency where you hear only noise, but meteor-reflected signals can override weak stations, so don't give up if you can't find a completely open spot. In the U.S., be careful that you don't use an "open" frequency that's right next to a strong local station. It might not actually be open. [hdradio.com]
    3. Listen!.

    You'll hear a lot of static, but every once in awhile, you'll hear a brief burst of signal. This is (probably) a distant station's signal bouncing off the ionized trail left by a meteor. Short bursts can be just a "ping"; long ones have lasted as long as a minute! (1-5 seconds is most common) Stations can be between 500 and 2000km distant. If you're really lucky you might even hear some identifying information, like a local commercial.

    This also works with analog TV, primarily on Band I (in the Americas: "low-band VHF" channels 2-6). It's unlikely a burst will be long or stable enough to allow digital reception. And, of course, you have to have an antenna on your TV - the only way the meteor shower is going to affect your cable or satellite reception is if a meteor hits the satellite!

    More useful links:
    http://www.qsl.net/dk3xt/ms.htm [qsl.net]
    http://www.imo.net/radio [imo.net]
    http://www.veron.nl/amrad/mslinks.htm [veron.nl]

  • Bad Math (Score:2, Insightful)

    In 1969, Earth passed through this same region with rather spectacular -- though brief -- results (with viewers seeing 2-4 meteors per minute over a 30-minute period). This year's passage probably won't produce quite the same intensity as it did in 1969. Even still, astronomers are predicting anywhere from 100 to 600 meteors per hour.

    Huh? In 1969, they got 2-4 meteors per minute, which is 120-240 per hour. And they say not to expect the same intensity this year: instead "only" 100-600 per hour. ?????

  • There are a lot of predictions from different people, who all agree pretty much on one point: the best chances for increased activity is around 4:45 GMT on the 19th, maybe a little later (up to 6:30 GMT). That's the 'easy' part...

    The hard part is to predict how many meteors there will be. The more optimistic predictions say something like 2 per minute at the time of the maximum. Still a pretty good show I'd say...

    The sad news is that most of the meteors are expected to be rather faint. No big fi

  • Most excellent! I'll likely actually be outdoors for multiple hours in the pre-dawn morning over that period of time, getting settled in for a morning deer hunt - so I'll have the opportunity to view it from out in the country.
  • The only reason the Leonids are getting so much love right now is because it's still famous from it's most recent peak a few years ago-- at it's peak it is the most spectacular show around, but normally the Perseids are actually the better show [wikipedia.org]...

    Ahh well, see you in 2035 I guess. :)

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