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Leonid MAC

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Educational tools, lectures and briefings.

Help count Leonid meteors.

Amateur astronomers interested in helping to monitor the Leonid shower could make an effort to collect counts of Leonid meteors in 1-minute intervals. It takes the shower about 2 minutes to cross the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast. With precise enough data, we can see the shower sweep accross the country and recognize filamentary structure, if there is any. Here is an electronic form to report such flux measurements (on-line and off-line), designed by Glenn Deardorf.

Lectures and talks

model comet "Making a comet" class

An excercise for the class room: make a comet out of ice and dirt. Seven year old Ashley LaFranchi participated in Jane Houston Jones' class and shows the result in the picture to the right. Here is a recipe:

Kitchen Comets  - Make a comet with this simple recipe.

"Plotting meteors from video" class.

The Sonoma County Astronomical Association "Young Astronomers" club of kids ages 5 to 18 plotted 1999 Leonids on star charts at their club meeting in 2000. The watched the NASA video then Jane explained meteors in general and Leonids in particular. The young astronomers identified the star field on the film, then plotted the meteors they observed on official plotting forms The film they watched showed Ursa Major from 1:50 to 2:05 UTC 10/18, right at the peak of the 1999 Meteor Storm. Here are some of their results.- Jane Houston Jones - SCAS Young Astronomer adult newsletter advisor

plotting charts

Figure shows plots of meteors on star charts by kids age 5-18.

"Talks" class.

Listen to Leonid MAC PI and SETI Institute astronomer Dr. Peter Jenniskens give a public seminar webcast on expected meteor activity and the various Leonid MAC experiments for NASA's Astrobiology Institute.


Public seminar for NASA Astrobiology Institute. [Nov 01, 2002]

Webcast (by NASA's QUEST program) - lecture by Peter Jenniskens with slides about the airborne mission (40 minutes - but skip the beginning, where I am very nervous) (Feb. '99)

Jane Houston Jones, Mike Koop, and Morris Jones have provided talks to many Bay Area California Astronomy clubs during 2000. Some other participants are available too for talks and presentations. Jane first offered to speak to clubs through the Astronomical Asociation of Northern California (AANC) club membership. Jane is President of this group and Morris is on the board of directors. Here's a list of the talks given since the beginning of the year 2000.

  • Eastbay Astronomical Society (Dave Holman, March 2000)
  • San Mateo County Astronomical Society (Jane, March 2000)
  • Tri-Valley Stargazers (Jane and Mojo, March 2000) - TVA Newsletter
  • The Young Astronomers section of the Sonoma County Astronomical Society (Jane, April 2000) - no website, but I have scans of the meteor plotting the kids did from videotapes during the talk
  • San Jose Astronomical Association (Mike and Jane, May 2000)
  • Peninsula Astronomical Society (Jane and Morris, April 2000)
  • San Francisco Amateur Astronomers (Jane and Mojo, June 2000)
  • Santa Cruz Astronomical Society (Mike, Jane and Mojo, July 2000)
  • Fremont Peak Observers Association (Mike, Jane, Peter Jenniskens, July 2000)
  • Stockton Astronomical Society (Jane and Morris, August 2000)
  • Sonoma County Astronomical Society (Jane and Morris, December 2000) - no website
  • Mount Diablo Astronomical Society (Jane and Morris, Feb 2001)

Peter Jenniskens provided a lecture on the Leonid meteor shower for school children at Mildenhall AFB and Lakenheat AFB in U.K. on Nov. 15, 1999.

Classroom Exercises

Thursday's Classroom - NASA Space Science News for October 28, 1999.

This week's episode of Thursday's Classroom is the first of a three part series about the upcoming Leonid meteor shower. In this first installment, lesson plans include "Star War" (a fun game of cards to teach kids about visual magnitudes), "Meteor Math", a classroom meteor shower simulation and more!

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