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2001 Leonid Storm Photo Gallery

Photographs by Fred Espenak

Leonid Fireball and LMC
A brilliant fireball streaks past the Large Magellanic Cloud during the Great Leonid Meteor Storm of 2001. The meteor left a visible trail which persisted for over ten minutes as it dispersed and drifted south across the LMC.
Great Leonid Meteor Storm of 2001 (Uluru, Australia)
Photo (c)2001 by Fred Espenak
Leonid Fireball and LMC

The Great Leonid Meteor Storm of 2001 provided a unique photographic opportunity.Earth's orbit carried our planet through an especially dense dust trail from Comet Tempel-Tuttle which produced the spectacular meteor display. Fred Espenak and Pat Totten present some of their best photographs of the historic event from Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia. Espenak's report from Ayers Rock, AUSTRALIA describes the celestial event in detail.

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"May these photos inspire you to discover the beauty of the Heavens for yourself!"

- Fred Espenak

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Click on each image to see a larger photo.

Leonid24-10
The Leonid Radiant
(Leonid24-10)

The Leonid Radiant (Leonid24-10)

The radiant of the Leonid shower is clearly seen from the many meteor trails diverging from the sickle shaped head of Leo.The Beehive Cluster (M44) is near the center while the bright 'star' to the upper right is Jupiter in Gemini.

2001 Leonid Meteor Storm (Uluru, AUSTRALIA)
Nikon FE, Nikkor 24mm f/2.8, composite of four 9-minute exposures, Fuji Superia 800
Photo 2001 by Fred Espenak

Leo28z-10
Meteors Through the
South Celestial Pole
(Leo28z-10)

Meteors Through the South Celestial Pole (Leo28z-10)

During an (approximately) one hour exposure, many Leonid meteors can be seen near the South Celestial Pole.Note that Uluru (Ayers Rock) can be seen in silhouette along the horizon.

2001 Leonid Meteor Storm (Uluru, AUSTRALIA)
Nikon 6006, Sigma 28-105 zoom at 28mm f/4, one hour exposure, Kodak Royal Gold 400
Photo 2001 by Fred Espenak

Leo16-05
Wide Field View of Leonids
(Leo16-05)

Wide Field View of Leonids (Leo16-05)

Dozens of the brightest Leonid meteors are captured in this 72 minute composite made from eight 9-minute exposures using a 16mm full frame fisheye lens. To the lower right, the meteor shower radiates from the sickle shaped string of stars in Leo. Orion (center left) appears upside down in this southern hemisphere image with the 'winter' Milky Way. Note the two bolides in Taurus (center left) and near the Large Magellanic Cloud (top right).

2001 Leonid Meteor Storm (Uluru, AUSTRALIA)
Nikon FE, Nikkor 16mm f/2.8, composite of eight 9-minute exposures, Fuji Superia 800
Photo 2001 by Fred Espenak

Leo28-01
Meteor Storm Through
Orion and Taurus
(Leo28-01)

Meteor Storm Through Orion and Taurus (Leo28-01)

Canis Major, Orion and Taurus are invaded by a storm of meteors. Note the bolide through Taurus which was as bright as the full Moon and left a dust trail which persisted for 15 minutes.This 72 minute composite is made from eight 9-minute exposures using a 28mm Nikkor lens.

2001 Leonid Meteor Storm (Uluru, AUSTRALIA)
Nikon FG, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8, composite of eight 9-minute exposures, Fuji Superia 800
Photo 2001 by Fred Espenak

Leo16a-09
Southern Milky Way
and Leonids
(Leo16a-09)

Southern Milky Way and Leonids (Leo16a-09)

The southern Milky Way from Centaurus, Crux and Carina (lower left) through Canis Major and Orion (upper right) stretches across the diagonal. This photo is composed of two 9-minute exposures. A number of Leonid meteors are seen radiating from Leo (upper left). The Magellanic Clouds are also visible to the lower right.

2001 Leonid Meteor Storm (Uluru, AUSTRALIA)
Nikon FE, Nikkor 16mm f/2.8, composite of two 9-minute exposures, Fuji Superia 800
Photo 2001 by Fred Espenak

Leo35-04
Magellanic Clouds
Weather the Storm
(Leo35-04)

Magellanic Clouds Weather the Storm (Leo35-04)

The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are framed by the amazing meteor storm of 2001 Nov 19. The bolide above the Large Cloud was nearly as bright as the Full Moon and left a trail which persisted for over ten minutes.This 27 minute composite is made from three 9-minute exposures using a 35mm Nikkor lens.

2001 Leonid Meteor Storm (Uluru, AUSTRALIA)
Nikon FG, Nikkor 35mm f/2.8, composite of three 9-minute exposures, Fuji Superia 800
Photo 2001 by Fred Espenak

PTLeo18-08
Southern Meteors
(PTLeo18-08)

Southern Meteors (PTLeo18-08)

Meteors quickly flash across the southern sky in an image that captures Uluru (Ayers Rock) on the horizon.The star trails of Crux and Centaurus are to the left while the ghostly images of the Magellanic Clouds are visible to the right.

2001 Leonid Meteor Storm (Uluru, AUSTRALIA)
Nikon 6006, Sigma 18-35 zoom at 18mm f/2.8, 15 minute exposure, Fuji Superia 800
Photo 2001 by Pat Totten

PTLeo50-08
Shower Radiant
and Star Trails
(PTLeo50-08)

Shower Radiant and Star Trails (PTLeo50-08)

A fifteen minute exposure captures the shower radiant in Leo along with dozens on meteor trails.

2001 Leonid Meteor Storm (Uluru, AUSTRALIA)
Nikon FG, Nikkor 50mm f/2, 15 minute exposure, Fuji Superia 800
Photo 2001 by Pat Totten

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For a descriptive account, see:

Report on the 2001 Leonid Meteor Storm


Also available:

Deluxe Prints of the 2001 Leonid Meteor Storm!

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All photographs are copyright by Fred Espenak.
Please contact him (at MrEclipse) for all uses of these images
in print, web, video, CD and all other media.

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Last revised: 2003 Dec 27