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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

 

How Good Will the Leonids be this Year?

The Perseids were very nice this year (see this nice picture), what about the iconic Leonids? For the past few years ZHR's for the Leonids have been around 15-20, not very exciting. However, there have been some interesting predictions for 2008. This one suggests that there will be a decent couple of dust trail encounters that will give some decent meteor rates.

ZHR prediction is a tricky art, but at least one encounter may have ZHR rates around 100 meteors per hour. The problem for us Australians is that this occurs around 11:30 am, during daylight on the 18th. As the Leonid peaks are fairly sharp, we won't get to see much. The second trail occurs on the 19th around 7:30 am in Australia as well (more like 5:30 in WA, so they might see something). Given that the Moon is only just past full, and will significantly degrade meteor spotting, it looks like the Leonids will be somewhat disappointing this year as seen from Australia.

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