Report on the Leonid Meteor Storm of 2001
by Susan Stolovy (Ayers Rock, AUSTRALIA)
Hal Light and I enjoyed a long and delightful night of Leonid watching near Ayers Rock, Australia during the early morning hours of 2001 Nov 19. We made some meteor counts as follows:
Total observed (by Hal) was 1076.
(I observed a total of 831, but I stopped counting after 190 minutes).
The peak rate occurred at 18:35 UT
(Hal counted 46 meteors in 3 minutes, corresponding to a rate of about 1 every 4 seconds!)
I've prepared a graph of Hal's counts converted to hourly rate (not correcting for airmass) which plot the time points at the midpoint of every time interval, which ranged from 2 minutes to 26 minutes. I took independent measurements which were consistent with Hal's, but I stopped earlier. Among these Leonids were about 20 very bright "fireballs" that left noticeable trails. Note that 1:30 AM (Nov. 19) local time = 16:00 UT (Nov. 28). The peak was predicted to be 17:24 UT, I believe, so our observed peak is a bit later.
The graph also includes 4 data points that I wrote down, shown as diamonds (I binned them in big chunks of time--just call me Lazy Susan). They agree very well with Hal's.
- Susan Stolovy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last revised: 2003 Dec 27