Edition 12 of the Astronomy On-line Newspaper

Leonid Meteors 1996

Here is some information about the Leonid meteor shower, copied from IAU Circular No. 6505 which was issued on 1996 November 18.

The IAU Circulars are prepared by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams CBAT) of the International Astronomical Union. The postal address of the CBAT is: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A. Other contact possibilities: IAUSUBS@CFA.HARVARD.EDU or FAX 617-495-7231 (subscriptions) BMARSDEN@CFA.HARVARD.EDU or DGREEN@CFA.HARVARD.EDU (science) Phone 617-495-7244/7440/7444 (for emergency use only).

On this Circular is reported that: Numerous observers have reported observations that suggest a moderate 1996 display of particularly bright Leonid meteors. J. Rendtel and R. Arlt, International Meteor Organization, report no distinct peak but rather a plateau of activity (ZHR > 30; calculated with population index 1.8) between Nov. 17.05 and 17.60, with somewhat higher rates (ZHR about 60) during Nov. 17.2-17.4. J. E. Bortle, Stormville, NY, reports that the display on Nov. 17 UT was similar to the 1961 display of unusually bright meteors. P. Jenniskens (Ames Research Center), P. Brown (University of Western Ontario), and R. Keen (Coal Creek Canyon, CO) also remarked on the bright meteors, Keen noting that all Leonids observed during Nov. 17.32-17.42 left trains that lasted in most cases for about one second (the brightest such meteor having mag -6), and Brown noting seven fireballs in the magnitude range -4 to -8 during Nov. 17.19-17.45.

More information about the IAU Circulars is available at the Web-site of the CBAT (see above). Here you will also learn about how to submit information about an astronomical discovery.

Please note that the text from the IAU Circulars is (C) Copyright 1996 CBAT.


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Last update: Nov 19, 1996