Visit the USGS Home Page Go to the Astrogeology Research Program Home Page USGS Astrogeology Research Program

Meteor Shower Promises to Put On a Show

The Leonid meteor shower happens every year in mid-November. That's when our planet has a close encounter with Comet Tempel-Tuttle's orbit -- a region of space littered with streams of comet dust. Usually we pass through the rarefied gaps between streams and sky watchers see no more than 10 or 15 Leonids per hour. But sometimes (like last year) Earth plows through a debris stream more or less head-on and a full-fledged meteor storm erupts. Such meteor storms rarely happen in consecutive years, but 2001 and 2002 are exceptions. Experts have just released their predictions: Depending on where you live (Europe and the Americas are favored) Leonid meteor rates in 2002 should equal or exceed 2001 levels.

More: Science@NASA - The Truth about the 2002 Leonid Meteor Storm

Link: Science@NASA - Science@NASA - Leonid Observing Tips

Link: Science@NASA - Science@NASA - Leonid Meteor Storm Forecast