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The Leonids of 2002

Noah Rosh, from a science forum in Vala!

Pictured: A meteor from the Leonid shower as photographed in Norway last night

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Many dozens of very bright meteors were seen from the courtyard of the Mitzpe Ramon observatory. The special cameras recorded about 100 Leonids, with the field of view of each camera only 8 degrees by 6 degrees only.
The viewing was interrupted by scattered clouds for about an hour, at about 02:00, but the sky cleared up afterwards and the viewers in Ein were able to enjoy the spectacular spectacle. Initial ZHR (meteor activity measure) estimates are around 300, with meteor clusters producing a 5 to 10 second meteor for short bursts.
Buoyed reports that were further west (Island of Malta) indicate rates of 1000 meteors per hour. Too bad the flight didn't leave, maybe next time...

A shower of meteors was observed yesterday night in Israel

Photo: Reuters
The meteor shower. Formed from dust grains left by a comet, which entered the atmosphere

Many flashes of light illuminated the night sky yesterday when a shower of "Leonid" meteors appeared over Israel. The sight was like a shooting star: a flare that suddenly appeared in the sky and fell towards the earth leaving behind a trail, a clear line that glowed for two or three seconds at a time. These were not shooting stars, but grains the size of grains of sand, which penetrated the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of several tens of kilometers per second and in contact with air molecules heated up and burned.

A meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes in its orbit through a swarm of dust left behind by a comet. The Leonid shower - named after the constellation Leo, from which the meteors were seen coming out - was created by the swarm of comet Temple-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 33 years.

At the Ramon Crater and around the Weiss Observatory, many astronomy enthusiasts gathered yesterday to watch the meteor, who were lying in the bitter cold in sleeping bags, facing the sky or staring at home telescopes. In the observatory itself, the meter was recorded scientifically by various means of photography and tracking, as well as by counting the falling meteors.

According to Dr. Noah Brosh, director of the observatory, what appeared yesterday was a "beautiful shower" of Leonids, which reached a rate of about 300 meteors per hour in Israel. The peak of the meteor, at a rate of about 3,000 meteors per hour, was observed west of here, in the region of Spain and Morocco.
Sagi Green, Haaretz, 20/11/2002

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