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Leonid MAC

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logoThe Leonid MAC logo: a silhouetted human reaches beyond the limits of our knowledge, grasping toward the tail of a comet. The orange stripe represents an upper region of the atmosphere where meteors vaporize and leave atomic debris behind that is responsible for the faint orange glow of Earth's natural airglow layer.

mission patch 2002 Leonid MAC


The final meteor storms in this Leonid storm season double peaked over Europe and Northern America. Both storms were observed as planned during a flight from Torrejon, Spain, to Omaha, Nebraska. Aurora created a scenic background for a blizzard of tiny meteors.

2002 group

Proud at dawn!


The most beautiful of all meteor storms in the Leonid storm season double-peaked over Northern America and the western Pacific. The 2001 Leonid MAC covered the first peak in a mission over the continental USA from Alabama to California.

mission patch 2001 Leonid MAC group photo

Proud at dawn!

mission patch 2000 Leonid MAC


No Leonid MAC mission because of relatively low meteor shower rates. Airborne effort limited to small Cessna aircraft used to escape bad Florida weather and moon light. Ground-based observers encounter the 1932 and 1866 dust trail on November 16/17 and 17/18.
Picture from 2000 Cessna deployment

Onboard the Cessna aircraft.


The 1999 Leonid MAC mission patch features the flags of participating nations, both nations from which participants originate as nations that are visited on our route. The patch illustrates the multi-national and multi-instrument nature of the campaign, symoblizing the global impact of meteoroids on satellite safety and the global implications of our search for the origins of life.
mission patch 1999 Leonid MACImage from 1999 campaign

Meteor flux counter wearing video headset display.

mission patch 1998 Leonid MAC


November 1998: the first airborne mission in this campaign executed over Okinawa, Japan. This was NASA's first Astrobiology mission. The mission featured the NSF/NCAR "Electra", with a 2-beam iron lidar of the University of Illinois, and the USAF/452nd FTS "FISTA".
picture from 1998 campaign

At work during1998 mission.

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