The Leonids are here! Actually observers have been able to catch the occasional Leonid every night for the past week or so, but now the action is picking up. Last night visual observers detected a rate of ~19 Leonids per hour from a dark site. (Remember this rate, called the Zenithal Hourly Rate, is valid for a dark rural sky and when the radiant is overhead, most observers will be observing under worse conditions and will see fewer meteors). Check out the IMO’s Live ZHR Leonids page to see the latest activity rates.
The real action begins tonight as the Earth encounters multiple Leonid dust trails. Observers in the Far East and central Asia may experience rates as high as ~100-200 meteors per hour. Those of us in Europe and the Western hemisphere will see more normal activity wit rates between 20 and 50 per hour. Of course, surprises may happen. I’ll post more specific info on the Leonids later today.
Bob’ notes for the night of Nov 14/15 : “It was another crystal clear night in the San Diego area. The Leonids were quite active this morning, gearing up for their best showing tomorrow.”
Obs Date(UT)Time TOT SPO NTA STA LEO AMO NOO AND OER TUS Nov-16 11h38m 71 32 5 5 23 3 3 0 0 SDG Nov-16 11h23m 73 46 3 5 16 1 - 0 2
TUS – Camera in Tucson operated by Carl Hergenrother
SDG – Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
TotTime – Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors
TOT – Total number of meteors detected
SPO – Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
NTA/STA – Northern and Southern Taurids (includes Antihelions)
LEO – Leonids
AMO – Alpha Monocerotids
NOO – November Orionids
AND – Andromedids
OER – Omicron Eridanids