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Here Come the Leonids 2006

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the eye-in-the-sky dept.

80

yukk writes "The nights and early morning hours of November 17-19 mark the return of the Leonid meteor shower to the skies of Earth. Viewers along the northeastern coast of the United States and Canada, as well as people in Europe and western Africa might get to see a possible 'outburst' of as many as 100-600 meteors per hour. This spike in activity is predicted for 11:45 p.m. — 1:33 a.m. EST on November 18-19 (4:45 — 6:33 UT on November 19)."

cancel ×

80 comments

obligatory... (3, Funny)

cultrhetor (961872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880306)

We've come out of hyperspace into a meteor shower...

no HERE comes the Leonids (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16880310)

by Leonids I mean my nuts. FP you stinking nerd fucks

Finally, a direct test: (5, Funny)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880324)

So, which is more likely:

* Buying a PS3 this weekend for MSRP
* Being struck by a meteorite this weekend

I never thought I'd have to think hard to answer that question.

Re:Finally, a direct test: (5, Funny)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880350)

Well if a ship with an improbability drive goes somewhere, you will get a working ps3, which is in perfect condition, came with 2 games and you got it half off. However karma is going to catch up with you and a meteor is going to plow straight through your skull.

Re:Finally, a direct test: (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881462)

Unless I put up a SEP field around me....

Re:Finally, a direct test: (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16889092)

Haha

Re:Finally, a direct test: (1)

mongoose(!no) (719125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880436)

I think being struck by a meteorite any day is more likely than the first one.

Re:Finally, a direct test: (4, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880578)

And the truly pedantic are wondering "Which is the correct usage: struck by a meteorite or struck by a meteor?"
 

Re:Finally, a direct test: (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880722)

"struck by a meteor" - right?

Re:Finally, a direct test: (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880872)

Tough call. A meteorite is a meteor that has hit the Earth's surface. So what remains in question is if it hits you, are you considered effectively the Earth's surface? And even if you are, did it become a meteorite right at the point of impact or only afterwards? I think this involves calculus.
 

Re:Finally, a direct test: (1)

6th time lucky (811282) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881028)

I think we can safely say that "He was struck by this meteriote", but i still cant decide what you could be hit with...

ping (1)

Web Goddess (133348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881092)

( a meteorite )

Re:Finally, a direct test: (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881098)

Maybe it bounced.

Re:Finally, a direct test: (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881432)

You're assuming the person is above the ground so the meteorite would hit him first. What if you were in, I dunno, some kind of underground chamber and the meteorite passed through the earths's surface on its way to striking you?

Far fetched, I know. But there must be some slashdotters who are speleologists.

Re:Finally, a direct test: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16881894)

you were in, I dunno, some kind of underground chamber and the meteorite passed through the earths's surface on its way to striking you?

s/the earths surface/you're mom's house/

Re:Finally, a direct test: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16882532)

Thanks for explaining the joke, dillhole.

Re:Finally, a direct test: (1)

Fhqwhgadss (905393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16883898)

But if it bounces, it's a meteorite for sure.

Re:Finally, a direct test: (2, Funny)

elmedico27 (931070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880668)

If you're sitting at home reading this, your chances of getting struck by a meteorite this weekend are infinitely greater than getting a PS3 at MSRP. You had to line up during the last Leonid shower to get a PS3 at MSRP.

Re:Finally, a direct test: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16880710)

The only way I'm buying a PS3 this weekend for MSRP is if a meteorite hits about 10 yards in front of me and it weighs over 5lbs (I believe the price is $1,000 USD/lb but I need the other $4k for a nice TV and surround sound :).

But... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16880330)

But where is Leo Laporte [leoville.com] ?

Re:But... (1)

novafire (263854) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880548)

uncool, just plain uncool

OMG (2, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880332)

They're coming right for us!

These are the few times that I wish I didn't live in a city

It seems like we do this every year (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880344)

I mean, come [slashdot.org] on [slashdot.org] people.

Wake me up when one of those once-in-a-lifetime comet thingies comes along. :)

Re:It seems like we do this every year (1)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880528)

I like how in 2002 there were 2 dupes, each spaced apart by a couple days. Slashdot will always be the same!

Re:It seems like we do this every year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16883246)

Of course slashdot will always be the same when you are looking at the past. At least until dimentia kicks in.

Yes but normally.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16881436)

..the editors are to slow and the "news" appears after the shower has passed. This is one of the few (first?) times this info is _2_ days before the meteor shower!!!

Congrats /. editors! (No, I'm not being sarcastic.)

Re:It seems like we do this every year (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881718)

The big Leonid outburst (the one that might be like the 1966 "hyperspace" event) was due in 1997 or 1998. This year could be a decent display, though, if you're lucky you might see the odd fireball - which are spectacular.

NASA TV (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16880360)

NASA will broadcast its 6th annual live Leonids webcast on NASA TV. The server is usually slowed to a crawl for the night but video will be put up the next day for sure.
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/ [nasa.gov]

Mirror Link (if NASA TV gets slow) (3, Funny)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880600)

Alternate source: <img src="http://www.nasa.gov/images/black_pixel.gif" width=640 height=480 alt="Live streaming Leonids video!">

Re:Mirror Link (if NASA TV gets slow) (1)

Ziwcam (766621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16888930)

I'm amused that the parent was moderated informative...

Did the mods even look at the so-called "alternate source" link, or just saw an offer for an alternate source, and decided it must be informative.

IMHO I would have modded the parent funny.

Re:NASA TV (1)

Saikik (1018772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16887282)

Now granted for instances with cloud cover, or people in different hemispheres ( does that matter? )

You're telling me nerds would rather watch TV, on the PC, of the sky instead of look up at the sky?

probability of hitting land (2, Interesting)

crankshot999 (975406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880446)

for every five meteors that hit the planet 75x.75x.75x.75x.75 or 3 to the 5th over 4 to the 5th will even hit land!

More like dozens per hour ... (5, Informative)

jkantola (84776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880460)

The meteor intensities mentioned are not for a "normal" Leonid shower, such as this.
The meteor storms with intensities in the hunderds have a period of 33 years; the previous
storm occured on and around 2002. By now the storm is twindling to a normal Leonid
shower -- which is still one of the most amazing yearly sights for a meteor spotter.

Expect dozes of meteors per hour, and you won't feel so disappointed :)

Re:More like dozens per hour ... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880608)

I don't beieve this. In the last year when the Leoonids came it was either somewhere in the middle of the week (and I had to go to school/university early the next days) or northern Germany was overcast with low clouds. But it's weekend and a quick glance at the Dashboard forecast widget reveals sunny (if cold) weather from saturday onward.

There's got to be something wrong. I don't believe that it's actually possible to see the Leonids from the Bremen area... Maybe Earth approaches the trail from such an angle that the Leonids only come down over the other side of the Earth. Or Earth's rotation becomes irregular for a few days so that the Leonids come down everywhere except here. Something like that.

Re:More like dozens per hour ... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880626)

Ugh. Sp msny zypos. I shouldn't post to Slashdot immediately after waking up.

Re:More like dozens per hour ... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880796)

Well, I would expect that a few meteors would be flung around the planet by gravity, and would thus enter the atmosphere all around the planet.

Re:More like dozens per hour ... (1)

HoneyBeeSpace (724189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880648)

The storms are *way* more than this. The last big storm (2000?) had 1 to 10 per second = thousands per hour. The numbers listed here might be more than a normal leonid, but are less than a peak storm event.

Re:More like dozens per hour ... (1)

noigmn (929935) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881318)

Yeh, I remember the storms at peak. We're amazing down here in Australia. You got bored of shooting stars after a few minutes and just hung out for the massive green fireballs. You could hear them too, like fighter jets. Which I thought was quite cool.

Bless Wii (5, Funny)

Goldrush (888847) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880516)

A meteor shower will appear to entertain those people waiting in line for the Wii in those early morning hours. The Nintendo God is kind, indeed.

Oh no... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16880556)

So Leonid the Magnificent was just the beginning...

Re:Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16886370)

That guy was awesome!

West Coasters Left Out (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880564)

Viewers along the northeastern coast of the United States and Canada, as well as people in Europe and western Africa might get to see a possible 'outburst' of as many as 100-600 meteors per hour.


So, those of us on the West Coast of the U.S. get left out, hmm?

Those damn insensitive celestial clods...

Re:West Coasters Left Out (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880674)

Northernmost States

Maine
New Hampshire/Vermont
Massachussets/Connecticut/Rhode Island
New York
Pennsylvania/New Jersey
Maryland/Delaware
Virginia

^Mid Eastern U.S.A.

So who on the East Coast gets left out?

Re:West Coasters Left Out (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880768)

I don't know if that's typical American lack of knowledge of Geography, or typical gamer's short attention span. The poster said *WEST* coast, not east.
California, Oregon and Washington.

Re:West Coasters Left Out (3, Informative)

Lithgon (896737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880800)

Don't worry. It's mostly cloudy/raining on the east coast.

Re:West Coasters Left Out (1)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881286)

I caught the 2002 show and was a bit disappointed. I saw maybe 4 meteors per hour. It sucks living in the west. Nothing cool ever happens.

Re:West Coasters Left Out - F****** Bushies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16882756)

Bush fucks up everything

Hello (0, Offtopic)

Amarinder (1028468) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880592)

Good Luck To you

Special for me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16880642)

I kissed the first woman I ever loved for the first time while we were watching this meteor shower about ten years back. Every time it comes around I think back to that night.

Re:Special for me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16881200)

I for one welcome our Alex P Keaton Lying FAG!!! overlords. Get a job hippie!!! - Wolf Bearclaw

oh rapture! (0)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880652)

yay, I can't wait! Return of the Leonids is gonna be even better than the first two! (that's a LOTR reference in case you're dumb :-P)
But last time I stayed up until like 2:00 in the morning to watch a meteor shower....err...I think it was the aurora borealis...anyway, I had my window open and it was FREAKIN cold (wisconsin btw) and I caught a massively baaaaad cold or flu or somethin :( damn asteroids/ions! Must have STD's (Spacially Transmitted Diseases)

Ring Ring (5, Insightful)

SuperStretchy (1018064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880764)

"Hey babe you wanna come over?"
"Sure... Any reason?"

"ooo nothing.. just something I have planned"
*Cue heavenly fireworks*

Re:Ring Ring (4, Funny)

agent dero (680753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881398)

Only on slashdot will a comment like this ever be modded +5 Insightful.

Once you start taking dating tips from /. comments, its really all downhill after that :)

Re:Ring Ring (0, Offtopic)

SuperStretchy (1018064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16888836)

Yes... I was a bit shocked to see a +5, but if you think about it, thats really the only practical application of this post. And at least for me, its not a dating tip from a /. comment.. its a plan.

But yes, its a good tip.

(expecting -1 off topic)

Re:Ring Ring (1)

Tired and Emotional (750842) | more than 7 years ago | (#16889150)

Many years ago we had a full eclipse of the Sun in Melbourne. A new restaraunt planned its grand opening for the date and printed on the invites: "For your amusment and edification, a total Solar Eclipse has been arranged for the afternoon" So after the promised event, the party goers all applauded and yelled "do it again". Or so I have been told. BTW if you ever get chance to be in the path of a total Solar Eclipse, do it - its awesome.

Re:Ring Ring (1)

SuperStretchy (1018064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16889330)

hahaha... I bet they served nubcakes that day.

Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16880836)

Do not look directly at meteor shower with remaining eye ;)

Leonids (-1)

unc0nn3ct3d (952682) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881020)

I for one welcome our new Leonid overlords :)

Re:Leonids (0)

noigmn (929935) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881396)

The only time when this statement actually makes sense in the last week, it doesn't get modded up. I thought mod +5 for any pointless 'i for one welcome...overlords' statement had become mandatory.

Unfortunately (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881030)

We haven't had a cloudless, starry night in weeks. The local viewing has been terrible the last few months. Waaaay too much moisture in the atmosphere. Any way, I hope it clears up for a few minutes at least. I saw this a few years ago and it was quite intense.

The Triffids (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16881202)

Have been waiting for this.

Come December our Triffid overlords will have complete control!

Re:The Triffids (1)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16883592)

There's no way I'm watching the shower. Everyone else, don't come complain to me that the mean plant stung you because you're blind. You were warned years ago, but you still decided to go out and watch the pretty lights.

Closest thing? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881232)

The closest a geek gets to a shower is when watching a meteor shower. :-)

mod 3oWn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16881306)

FreeBSD is already get tough. I hope

City Lights (1)

Barkmullz (594479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881386)


"So, if you are going to observe the shower, make an effort to drive to a location that has few if any lights nearby. (That may require quite a bit of driving these days, but it should be worth it.)"

Bah! I live in the interior of Alaska. If I turn off my porch lights, the location mentioned above is approximately 1.0m from my house. Too bad I am too far West to really see anything.

1.0 meters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16884602)

Wow, that's close!

PS3 and Wii (0, Troll)

firehawk2k (310855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881522)

Nov 17 -19? Wow, when Sony and Nintendo call for fireworks at the launch parties, they get really serious! Those Japs really know how to party.

Something special for all those in line by Best Buy... in the cold... staring up at the sky

saw the 2002 show (1)

Amphiaurus (984533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16882230)

I watched the show in 2002 while standing in the middle of a country road at about 4 AM. I'm in NW Ohio USA, the night was perfectly clear, and I must have seen a hundred or so meteors over the space of an hour or so. It was one of the most remarkable celestial displays I've ever seen. Alas, as another poster mentioned, we've had lousy weather here, overcast and rainy, so I'll just have to hope for a clear patch some time during the night. I'd love to watch the Leonids again.

As long as they aren't coming from (1)

PhiltheeG (688063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16882278)

Klendathu I'm not worried.

My god, it's full of light pollution (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16882732)

I live in the city, you insensitive clod!

What about (1)

obdulio (410122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16882932)

us living south of the Equator. Will it be visible in Brazil?

Ahh!! (1)

naelurec (552384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16883004)

I read that headline and thought you were referring to an army of this guy [youtube.com] .. AHH!!!

Huh? can't figure this out? (1)

fury88 (905473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16883330)

(The predictions vary depending on when Earth actually passes through the trail: earlier, fewer meteors -- later, more meteors.)

Umm, they can't figure out when the Earth passes through the meteor shower? I didn't realize the Earth's rotation and the speed of the meteors were variable!

Re:Huh? can't figure this out? (1)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16886144)

No they can't because the location, dimensions and density of the meteor cloud are not known. The rocks that make up the shower are really tiny ! Estimations are made from previous meteor showers, this is the best we can do so far.

Hearing the meteors (no, by radio...) (5, Interesting)

w9wi (162482) | more than 7 years ago | (#16884416)

I might mention that the meteor trails you see also refract radio signals. [wikipedia.org]

How to listen:
  1. Use the best FM radio you have. In most cases, this is your car radio. AM/MW doesn't work.
  2. Find the most open frequency possible. It's best if you can find a frequency where you hear only noise, but meteor-reflected signals can override weak stations, so don't give up if you can't find a completely open spot. In the U.S., be careful that you don't use an "open" frequency that's right next to a strong local station. It might not actually be open. [hdradio.com]
  3. Listen!.

You'll hear a lot of static, but every once in awhile, you'll hear a brief burst of signal. This is (probably) a distant station's signal bouncing off the ionized trail left by a meteor. Short bursts can be just a "ping"; long ones have lasted as long as a minute! (1-5 seconds is most common) Stations can be between 500 and 2000km distant. If you're really lucky you might even hear some identifying information, like a local commercial.

This also works with analog TV, primarily on Band I (in the Americas: "low-band VHF" channels 2-6). It's unlikely a burst will be long or stable enough to allow digital reception. And, of course, you have to have an antenna on your TV - the only way the meteor shower is going to affect your cable or satellite reception is if a meteor hits the satellite!

More useful links:
http://www.qsl.net/dk3xt/ms.htm [qsl.net]
http://www.imo.net/radio [imo.net]
http://www.veron.nl/amrad/mslinks.htm [veron.nl]

Bad Math (2, Insightful)

JamochasWitness (671800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16884612)

In 1969, Earth passed through this same region with rather spectacular -- though brief -- results (with viewers seeing 2-4 meteors per minute over a 30-minute period). This year's passage probably won't produce quite the same intensity as it did in 1969. Even still, astronomers are predicting anywhere from 100 to 600 meteors per hour.


Huh? In 1969, they got 2-4 meteors per minute, which is 120-240 per hour. And they say not to expect the same intensity this year: instead "only" 100-600 per hour. ?????

What to expect... (1)

lbastiae (529265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16886348)

There are a lot of predictions from different people, who all agree pretty much on one point: the best chances for increased activity is around 4:45 GMT on the 19th, maybe a little later (up to 6:30 GMT). That's the 'easy' part...

The hard part is to predict how many meteors there will be. The more optimistic predictions say something like 2 per minute at the time of the maximum. Still a pretty good show I'd say...

The sad news is that most of the meteors are expected to be rather faint. No big fireball show like in 1998 this time... Luckily it's near new moon, so that sometimes annoyingly bright thing won't bother us this year, but still you should find a dark spot as far away as possible from bright light sources (street lights, cities, ...)

Btw, the International Meteor Organization [imo.net] collects observation reports. Check http://www.imo.net/visual [imo.net] for an explanation of the observation method and http://www.imo.net/visual/report/electronic [imo.net] for the report form.

Conclusion: it's nothing like the magnificient outbursts we had between 1998 and 2002 (which sometimes had thousands of meteors per hour), but it's still a good chance to see some meteors.

hunting season (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16889286)

Most excellent! I'll likely actually be outdoors for multiple hours in the pre-dawn morning over that period of time, getting settled in for a morning deer hunt - so I'll have the opportunity to view it from out in the country.

In Soviet Union... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16893522)

The Meteors watch You!

Perseids are superior (1)

celerityfm (181760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16893662)

The only reason the Leonids are getting so much love right now is because it's still famous from it's most recent peak a few years ago-- at it's peak it is the most spectacular show around, but normally the Perseids are actually the better show [wikipedia.org] ...

Ahh well, see you in 2035 I guess. :)
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