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LEONIDS 2000 - November 17, 2000

Find out more about the Leonids 2000 Event

Below is my write-up for my Leonid 2000 observations. AAAA is a wonderful astronomical club and astronomy is the best hobby anyone can experience. Iíll be on the front lines once again next year for the much anticipated east coast meteor storm predicted to occur on the morning of the November 18th. You can count on me for observations and photo data in 2001 and 2002.

Ron Zincone, Richmond, RI
rzincone@uri.edu

Photo #1 - Leonid Fireball Smoke Trail. Location: Richmond, RI. Date: November 18, 2000. Time: 3:05 am EST. Lens: 50mm. F/stop: 2.8. Film: Fujichrome Provia 1600. Exposure: 3 to 5 minutes. Photo by Ron Zincone

Photo #2 - Leonid Meteor in Northern Sky. Location: Richmond, RI. Date: November 18, 2000. Time: Estimated around 4 am. Lens: 50mm. F/Stop: 2.8. Film: Fujichrome Provia 1600. Exposure: 1 to 3 minutes. Photo by Ron Zincone.

Leonid 2000 Observations

This yearís meteor shower was the greatest meteor experience and one of the best astronomical events I have ever witnessed. On the morning of the 17th I was up in North Conway, NH. I observed under the 1 st quarter moon sky from around 1:30 am to about 4:30 am EST under mostly clear skies. I visually counted about 42 bright Leonid Meteors, mostly greenish-white in color. The peak occurred around 2:50 to 3:00 am; which was as predicted.

On the morning of the 18th, I observed from my home in Richmond, RI, under totally clear skies with the 1st quarter moon. I visually counted from around 1:30am to about 4:50 am 217 bright Leonids! Most were greenish-white in color. I am sure I didnít catch any of the fainter ones since the 1st quarter moon washed them out and many others Leonids may have appeared in other areas of the sky I did not concentrate on.

My estimate of the average hourly rate was around 100, but the more true ZHR was probably closer to 200 to 300. A minor peak seemed to occur around 2:40 am and a much greater peak around 2:58 am, when I saw a fabulous Leonid fireball that had to be at least mag. -3 to mag. -4. It was in the Northwest sky and left a glowing worm-like trail for 5 minutes! At this peak time, the meteors came in pairs and some three in a row! Most of the meteors I visualized and caught on film were from the darker regions of the sky away from the moon, mainly the SW, West, NW and Northern sky areas.

Out of 108 shots on Provia 1600 film, I managed to capture a total of 7 Leonid meteors and one fireball smoke trail. The best Leonid of the 7 was captured in the Northern sky around 4 am. It was the greatest meteor shower and one of the best astronomical events I have ever seen. I canít imagine what 2001 and 2002 will bring.

Ron Zincone, Richmond, RI
AAAA member; ASSNE member
rzincone@uri.edu

Links to Leonids 2000 Web Sites

Leonid Peak Online Estimator: If you want to find out the estimated peak times for where you live, go to this site, and check out your location. At the bottom of the screen is a flux calculator. Pick the city closest to you and launch the calculator. It should give you a pretty good idea what the times will be for your area.

Leonids 2000 Web Sites

Leonid Peak Online Estimator
http://www-space.arc.nasa.gov/~leonid/estimator.html

The American Meteor Society 
  http://www.amsmeteors.org/index.html

  International Meteor Organization 
http://www.imo.net/

Thanks to Paul Greenhalgh of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, moderator of the Astronomy Clubs Around the World eGroup, for providing this information.

Ed Flaspoehler, Vice President
American Association of Amateur Astronomers
http://www.astromax.org

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