Leonid Light Show

November 23, 2001


Provided by: Paulo Raymundo, Wally Pacholka
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Paulo Raymundo; Wally Pacholka

These two gorgeous photos of Leonid meteors were taken in the early morning hours of November 18. Click on the photos to see a larger view. A number of observers did in fact see a meteor storm (more than 1 meteor per second), which lasted, in some places, an hour or more, and thousands of other observers around the world were able to witness hundreds of meteors over a period of a few hours.

Left Image: This photo shows a smoke train that resulted from a -9 magnitude fireball near the star Capella in the constellation of Auriga. The smoke train could be seen for ten minutes with the naked eye. The photo was taken by Paulo Raymundo of the Reaiche Observatory in Brazil, less than five seconds after the fireball was seen (25 second exposure).

Right Image: This brilliant Leonid meteor is seen lighting up the dark desert skies of the California desert area of Joshua Tree National Park. The meteor is seen here streaking just to the left of the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades (7 sisters). It was one of thousands observed with 2-3 meteors being seen per second at the peak of the show. Photographer Wally Pacholka of Long Beach, California used a 35mm camera with a standard 50mm lens on a tripod.

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