The Earth is scheduled to pass through the debris stream from the comet Tempel-Tuttle Nov. 17 and 18. The collision of this debris with the Earth's atmosphere could produce a spectacular display of hundreds to thousands of meteors per hour. The Leonid shower hits its peak every 33 years.
The University of Western Ontario, the Canadian Space Agency, Canada's Department of National Defence, and the European Space Agency are teaming with NASA and the Air Force to set up monitoring sites at seven locations around the world.
Special electro-optical video equipment will be set up at sites in Hawaii, Florida, the Canary Islands, Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and at two sites in the Negev Desert, Israel, to record the storm as it develops. The data collected from these seven sites will be transferred to a communications center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. From Alabama, NASA and UWO researchers will compile and profile the data so satellite operators can access it.
The monitoring sites were chosen because they lie along what is expected to be the best longitude for viewing. The storm is predicted to peak Nov. 17.
Leonids To Blaze Brightly
Canberra - August 31, 1999 - November's Leonid meteor shower will produce good displays this year and next, and strong storms of meteors in 2001 and 2002, according to new research by Dr David Asher, of Armagh Observatory, and Dr Rob McNaught of the Australian National University. Writing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (21 August 1999 issue), they show how the times when Earth passes through the dense streams of matter in space that produce meteor showers can now be predicted with remarkable accuracy.