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Leonids 2020

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#1 VikrantNarang

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 12:57 PM

Hi Everyone,

 

The IMO Meteor Shower calendar for 2020 (https://www.imo.net/...wer/cal2020.pdf) on page for Leonids meteor shower reads "Mikiya Sato’s model calculation shows that there are a few dust trail approaches in 2020.". What does it mean? Can we expect to see any outburst of the shower?

 

Happy Leonids!

Vikrant Narang

Astronomer and Chief Technology Officer

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#2 jim kuhns

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 01:16 PM

I got to observe the Leonids in 1998, 1999> the peak year. The late morning sky
was a blazed with meteors. The peak period is every 33 years.
Was not able to observe the shower in 1966 due to cloudy weather.
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#3 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 01:52 PM

Leonids (LEO)
Active from November 6th to November 30th, 2020  Currently active

The Leonids are best known for producing meteor storms in the years of 1833, 1866, 1966, 1999, and 2001. These outbursts of meteor activity are best seen when the parent object, comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, is near perihelion (closest approach to the sun). Yet it is not the fresh material we see from the comet, but rather debris from earlier returns that also happen to be most dense at the same time. Unfortunately it appears that the earth will not encounter any dense clouds of debris until 2099. Therefore when the comet returns in 2031 and 2064, there will be no meteor storms, but perhaps several good displays of Leonid activity when rates are in excess of 100 per hour. The best we can hope for now until the year 2030 is peaks of around 15 shower members per hour and perhaps an occasional weak outburst when the earth passes near a debris trail. The Leonids are often bright meteors with a high percentage of persistent trains.

 

Shower details - Radiant: 10:08 +21.6° - ZHR: 15 - Velocity: 44 miles/sec (swift - 71km/sec) - Parent Object: 55P/Tempel-Tuttle

 

Next Peak - The Leonids will next peak on the Nov 16-17, 2020 night. On this night, the moon will be 4.63% full.

https://www.imo.net/...urces/calendar/


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#4 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 02:04 PM

Here's a working version of the OP's link.

 

https://www.imo.net/...wer/cal2020.pdf

Leonids (013 LEO)

Active: November 6–30; Maximum: November 17, 11h UT (nodal crossing at λ⊙ = 235.◦27);
ZHR ≈ 10 − 20
Radiant: α = 152◦, δ = +22◦; Radiant drift: see Table 6;
V∞ = 71 km/s; r = 2.5.

 

The latest perihelion passage of the Leonids’ parent comet, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, in 1998 is more than two decades ago now and meanwhile the comet has passed its aphelion. The knowledge
of the dust ejection mechanisms and trail evolution allowed us to predict and verify variable activity in numerous years until recently. The nodal Leonid maximum occurs on November 17
just after new Moon.

Mikiya Sato’s model calculation shows that there are a few dust trail approaches in 2020. Some activity of predominantly faint meteors may occur on November 17 between 06h50m −08h13m UT
(λ⊙ = 235.◦100−235.◦158). The meteoroids of the 1600-trail are leading the comet, like the trails due in the following years. Hence the data of 2020 have high relevance for the next predictions.
Further approaches in 2020 concern trails of 901 (November 18, 00 h58m UT, λ⊙ = 235.◦852) and 1234 (November 20, 15h28m UT, λ⊙ = 238.◦490). Both are probably at the detection limit because perturbations reduced the density a lot. The shower’s radiant is usefully observable only by local midnight or so north of the equator, afterwards for places further south.

 

The ZHR's from this and the previous source don't seem to indicate any enhanced activity this year.


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#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 02:07 PM

November 17: The Leonids

 

The Leonid shower's parent comet, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, tends to create narrow concentrated streams of debris that produced prodigious displays in the late 1990s, when it last swung close to the Sun. Since then the shower's activity has varied from year to year, usually offering little more than a trickle of shooting stars radiating from Leo’s Sickle. This year's peak comes early on November 17th, so venture outside after midnight. Moonlight will not be an issue.

https://skyandtelesc...howers-in-2020/


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#6 Sheol

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 07:36 PM

            Who ever made that prediction didn't get my area of the country right, the Perseids were a complete NO SHOW this year. I might have seen one meteor & that is even debatable, it was just a flash. Maybe the Geminids will be better? I don't think this is a year for strong display of Leonids, but I'll give them a try anyway. After that let down in August even 3 or 4 meteors would be good.

 

     Clear Skies,

       Matt.


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#7 VikrantNarang

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 12:06 AM

Thank you everyone for your for your inspiring posts. Yes, Leonids will be worth observing. The Live ZHR Graphs of meteor showers from IMO are wonderful, excited to see how this years Leonids turn out. All, IMO observers are so inspiring who report diligently on meteor showers.

 

Happy Leonids!

Vikrant Narang

Astronomer and Chief Technology Officer

SPACE

www.space-india.com



#8 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 10:42 AM

Hi Everyone,

 

The IMO Meteor Shower calendar for 2020 (https://www.imo.net/...wer/cal2020.pdf) on page for Leonids meteor shower reads "Mikiya Sato’s model calculation shows that there are a few dust trail approaches in 2020.". What does it mean? Can we expect to see any outburst of the shower?

 

Happy Leonids!

Vikrant Narang

Astronomer and Chief Technology Officer

SPACE

www.space-india.com

Nah, we are in the 'quiet' part of the Leonids with the parent comet still more than a decade from next perihelion. Do keep in mind the Leonids in 2022, it appears we will encounter parts of the 1733 (9-rev) dust trail that may be dense enough to push the activity up to 250-300 Leonids per hour. Nothing like the 1999, 2001 or 2002 storms, but comparable to the 1998 and 2000 outbursts / similar to the outburst of the Perseids in 2016. 

http://feraj.ru/Radi...21-2030eng.html

CS!Jure


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#9 BrooksObs

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 11:52 AM

While no outbursts, or enhancement, of the Leonids is forecast for this year, or in any year in the immediate future, nevertheless, I put no stock whatever in any so-called present day shower enhancement predictions still for years yet to come. These are constantly being based on unsubstantiated assumptions, in nearly all cases totally lacking in any observational fact to back them up. The gentlemen making these predictions certainly mean well, but better than 95% of the time I have seen their prognostication fall absolutely flat.  As one who has been following these predictions for perhaps 30 years now and seen countless widely predicted major events come to absolutely naught, I feel that most should have been held back from any public exposure.

 

I fully understand and appreciate the mechanisms involved in actual rate enhancement, but also understand that except in instances where shower enhancements have actually been observed in the past, or encounters occur very near the time of an Earth-comet orbital intercept, that any predicted dramatic events are honestly little more that pure speculation bordering on simple chance.

 

The day of accurate such prognostications is surely to come at some point in the future, but for now I feel that just about anyone here could make current predictions about as accurate as the best presently available just by a simple guess.

 

BrooksObs


Edited by BrooksObs, 14 November 2020 - 12:31 PM.

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#10 REC

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 01:27 PM

I got to observe the Leonids in 1998, 1999> the peak year. The late morning sky
was a blazed with meteors. The peak period is every 33 years.
Was not able to observe the shower in 1966 due to cloudy weather.

Our astronomy professor took us on a field trip back in 1966 to see the shower and other stuff. We saw a bunch, but did not stay out late enough to see the storm later that morning :(      The one in 2000 was good, but a full moon was in the west.


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#11 Sheol

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 07:02 PM

         I am pretty skeptical of Meteor shower predictions these days. What happens happens I suppose, just be prepared.

 

    Clear Skies,

      Matt.


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#12 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 06:06 AM

I logged a grand total of six meteors, five of them definite Leonids, in more than 2.5 hours of dedicated meteor observing at the Naylor Observatory this morning.  The first one actually occurred before I began my meteor watch and might have been a Northern Taurid.  Two of the Leonids were fairly bright, magnitude 0 or perhaps even -1, but even those were not very memorable.
  
The temperature was in the low 30s, perhaps even below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, by the time I called it quits due to increasing cloudiness.  So I froze my posterior off for six meteors.


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#13 emh52

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 07:08 AM

My observation from a few hours in Tucson on peak night is that Leonids are sparse, I have seen a few, not bright, and have seen some other shower members including one near fireball. I caught a few the day before peak

with cameras including this one. I'll check the cameras later since it is not possible to look every direction at the same time.

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#14 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 08:09 AM

            Who ever made that prediction didn't get my area of the country right, the Perseids were a complete NO SHOW this year. I might have seen one meteor & that is even debatable, it was just a flash. Maybe the Geminids will be better? I don't think this is a year for strong display of Leonids, but I'll give them a try anyway. After that let down in August even 3 or 4 meteors would be good.

 

     Clear Skies,

       Matt.

Where are you located?



#15 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 08:12 AM

While no outbursts, or enhancement, of the Leonids is forecast for this year, or in any year in the immediate future, nevertheless, I put no stock whatever in any so-called present day shower enhancement predictions still for years yet to come. These are constantly being based on unsubstantiated assumptions, in nearly all cases totally lacking in any observational fact to back them up. The gentlemen making these predictions certainly mean well, but better than 95% of the time I have seen their prognostication fall absolutely flat.  As one who has been following these predictions for perhaps 30 years now and seen countless widely predicted major events come to absolutely naught, I feel that most should have been held back from any public exposure.

 

I fully understand and appreciate the mechanisms involved in actual rate enhancement, but also understand that except in instances where shower enhancements have actually been observed in the past, or encounters occur very near the time of an Earth-comet orbital intercept, that any predicted dramatic events are honestly little more that pure speculation bordering on simple chance.

 

The day of accurate such prognostications is surely to come at some point in the future, but for now I feel that just about anyone here could make current predictions about as accurate as the best presently available just by a simple guess.

 

BrooksObs

The 2008 and 2009 Leonid outbursts (major ones, ZHR~100) came 10-11 years behind the comet. One could argue that the possible 2022 enhancement is 'only' 9 years ahead of the comet. Interestingly enough, Jenniskens in his 1995 paper Meteor stream activity. II: Meteor outbursts in Table 6 lists an outburst on 1891 November 17/18 when under a full Moon "stars fell like rain". The date suggest this could possibly be the Leonids, 8 years ahead of the comet. This indicates the prediction is certainly worth checking, although I would not plan a star party for it ...

CS!Jure



#16 BrooksObs

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 10:29 AM

The 2008 and 2009 Leonid outbursts (major ones, ZHR~100) came 10-11 years behind the comet. One could argue that the possible 2022 enhancement is 'only' 9 years ahead of the comet. Interestingly enough, Jenniskens in his 1995 paper Meteor stream activity. II: Meteor outbursts in Table 6 lists an outburst on 1891 November 17/18 when under a full Moon "stars fell like rain". The date suggest this could possibly be the Leonids, 8 years ahead of the comet. This indicates the prediction is certainly worth checking, although I would not plan a star party for it ...

CS!Jure

Over the years I've looked into the Leonid's history in detail. I've found that confirmed enhancement only occurs beginning about 2 years prior to the comet's return, but up to 6 or 8 years after. I recall a good friend having witnessing an unexpected Leonid fireball shower in 1964 or 65 and I and a few others witnessing a strong, but brief shower of faint Leonids in '69. This has been the pattern over time. Given the often brevity of the major displays, undoubtedly various peaks could have been missed across the centuries, but there are definitely constraints as to how long it takes the main body of body of the stream' to pass by the Earth.

 

In conjunction with this, I have always regarded as suspect the claim of  the 1966 Leonid display as being ranked as the greatest in history. First person accounts of the 1366 and 1866 storms sound more impressive.Particularly, in the latter case the meteroid mass in the comet's orbit actually having been reported as detected as a large weakly glowing patch in the sky during the display, I believe the only time in history such has ever been reported for any display. Likewise, the supposed ZHR in 1966 of ~150,000 per hour was derived mainly (to my knowledge) from observations made in a most unconventional manner. No question that the 1966 storm was stupendous, but perhaps only second to that of a century earlier, or even that of 1366.

 

Now, with the Leonid stream's orbit perturbed away from the Earth's orbit, no further major Leonid displays seem possible until late in this century. This likely leaves only the Giacobinids as the only event with real potential for any meteor storms for many decades to come. However, this meteroid mass very closely mimics the comet's position itself, making displays possible only for ~30 days or so following the parent comet's crossing the Earth's orbit.

 

BrooksObs


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#17 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 12:06 PM

Indeed, outbursts continue much longer behind the comet than ahead of it. However, the first significant outburst during the last return of Tempel-Tuttle was in 1994, with ZHR ~75, over 3 years ahead of the comet (Jenniskens, 1996 - The First in a New Series of Leonid outbursts). 1995 also had enhanced activity, about double the annual peak rate. The first enhancement in Leonid activity during the preceding return of the comet was in 1961, about 3 and a half years ahead of the comet (the same paper). True, none of these were major or even storm-level outbursts, but they did approach activity levels of major annual meteor showers. The problem with potential earlier returns may be observer coverage. During the quiescent time there are very few observers covering the shower. Even on the peak night. And even fewer on nights before or after the peak. It seems likely that an activity enhancement could be missed.

 

The Draconids (Giacobinids) do seem to be well behaved, but not quite '30 days following the comet' well behaved. There is the 1999 return, which produced ZHR ~10-20 a full year behind the comet, and (much) more importantly the unexpected major 2012 return, again a full year behind the comet, that produced ZHR~200! Both of these outbursts had much higher radio and radar rates, consistent with a large proportion of very small meteoroids. Consistent with high ejection velocities needed to get far behind the comet. Indeed, the Canadian meteor radar guys are calling the 2012 return a meteor storm of tiny meteoroids. I wonder how many would have been visible to observers under pristinely dark skies.

 

Actually, the 'Tau Herculid' meteor shower (meteoroids from 73P) may have a good chance of producing a very significant outburst. This one is tricky, only one significant return was observed, in 1930. So there is not much to go on. However. The most important dust trail we will encounter is from 1995, when the comet (first) fragmented, brightening by about 6 magnitudes. That must have released a huge amount of meteoroids. Not unlike the Andromedids. Not many predictions at this time, expecting more as we approach the encounter.

CS!Jure


Edited by Jure Atanackov, 17 November 2020 - 12:10 PM.


#18 MCJ2087

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 03:20 PM

Started observing early on 11/17/2020 because of the sky forecast, no counts from 6:30UT to 7:30UT.  Recorded during that time using ZWO224MC and 2.1mm lens, showing only 1 trail somewhat close to have originated from the radiant.  Clouds drifting through.  Went back outside around 10:25UT, saw 3 believable Leonids from 10:30UT to 11UT – including one bright orange flash.  From northcentral Minnesota.


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#19 Sheol

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 07:14 PM

       I live south of Dallas, Texas. USA. Not the best place for astronomy to be sure, but at least I don't live in the city. In fact I live 29 miles south. I've seen a couple of good Perseid showers here, but usually clouds, Full Moon or other reasons kept me in. This summer I observed an hour before & an hour AFTER midnight. I saw 1 flash that might have been a head-on meteor. That is it. You know, I could kick myself because I was working a graveyard shift at a C-store in 1999 & at that time the store I was working at was in a fairly dark location. Not only that, it was one of the SLOWEST places I ever worked, I could have gone outside... bangbang.gif

 

      Clear Skies,

           Matt.



#20 Wes Stone

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 10:20 PM

The Clear Sky Chart showed a tantalizing break in the clouds on Tuesday morning from about 3am-5am. I made plans to go to my default meteor observing site, which is up on a ridge. Unusually for November, there wasn't any threat of ice or snow; after a couple of cold and wet days, the temperature was climbing overnight as a warm, dry wind picked up.

 

I woke up at 2am and it was still cloudy. I went back to bed. By 3 or so, I could sort of see enough breaks in the clouds to make it worthwhile. I got up and drove to my site. The last bit of cloud was retreating to the north by the time I got there. The wind was ripping, but I had observed the Orionids on a much colder windy morning in October, so I wasn't too concerned. I had planned to take a look at Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) before I started in on the Leonids, but it would have been useless to set up a scope in the wind, so I settled for detecting it as a fuzz patch in my 8x42 binoculars. I grabbed my tarp, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag, threw them down and got on top of them before they could blow away. I was happy to see a magnitude 0 Leonid while I was doing this.

 

It was 3:43am (11:43 UT) when I started counting. In 27 minutes, I saw 3 Leonids, 3 sporadics and 2 Taurids. Then the clouds returned. I was clouded out for the rest of the hour, and I only saw 2 Leonids and 1 sporadic in sucker patches. At 4:43am, clouds had retreated enough for me to give it another go. I fought through just over an hour of observing time with a couple of short cloud breaks, and saw 10 Leonids, only 2 sporadics (!) and 1 Taurid. The wind was the real show. I was snuggled in my bag in a bit of a hollow, letting the wind come upslope and pass over me, but during the watch it occasionally swirled and turned from behind me, picking up debris and dropping it on my face. I'm still blinking and picking stuff out. During some gusts, it felt like the ground was shaking. The wind may have hurt my perception of fainter meteors, because I didn't see many despite a limiting magnitude between 6.3 and 6.7 in the clear areas. The brightest meteor was a -2 Leonid.

 

There was a lot of log truck traffic on the road below me. For my departure, I got behind one of the big rigs and followed it down the narrow road so that I wouldn't have to meet another one coming up at me. I did catch Mercury as I drove home in bright twilight.

 

An eventful morning, but my transcript of my meteor count has more lines for sky condition changes than for actual meteors. Not exactly a red-letter session. Clearing during the Geminids is probably too much to hope for, but I'll hope anyway.

 

--

Wes Stone

Klamath Falls, OR

http://skytour.homes...om/met2020.html


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#21 emh52

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 12:32 PM

The day after I picked up several more none particularly noteworthy, the best one (so far) was peak night which was this one. All together I captured a dozen or so on camera and saw six of those watching. I have another 3 so far for the day after the peak and still looking at cameras. Better than last year for me with the more favorable dark sky. I have picked up a few November Orionids while doing this (see photo)- decent ones. Since that shower is yet to peak and will do so around full moon (and penumbral eclipse ) it is good to get them now.

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#22 Sheol

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 07:15 PM

       Nice.

   

      Clear Skies,

         Matt.




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