Leonids – and Linearids? – Light Up November Skies

Leonid meteor exploded over Hong Kong on November 16, 1998.  Photograph © 1998 by Charanis Chiu, Hong Kong Astronomical Society.
Leonid meteor exploded over Hong Kong on November 16, 1998. Photograph © 1998 by Charanis Chiu, Hong Kong Astronomical Society.

November 6, 1999  Chula Vista, California ­ The International Meteor Organization (IMO) has announced a call for meteor observations between midnight and dawn local times on November 10, 11 and 12. This is not for the famous Leonids. A newly discovered comet this year called Comet LINEAR made its closest approach to the Sun in September. Earth will be passing through whatever dusty debris the comet left in our planet's orbital path on November 11th. This new meteor shower will be called Linearids, not to be confused with Leonids that will arrive a week later on November 18th. Those dates are around New Moon, so dark skies beyond city lights will help meteor watches. But since no one has seen this comet before, scientists don't know whether it will leave a strong meteor wake or not.

 

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