2002 Leonid MAC
The two storm peaks are now only 6.5 hours appart and can be covered both in a
typical 9 hour flight. In order to see both peaks well, a mission to Europe is necessary
because of the limited flight duration. The best trajectory is a westward flight from
Europe to the USA.
The mission will commence in the period from November 15-20 and
will be flown from Madrid (Spain) to Offutt AFB (Nebraska).
The westward trajectory will provide a long dark night for the total duration of
the mission, about 9.6 hours, on mission night November 19. A late departure in
Spain guarantees excellent observing
conditions for the first storm peak at 04:00 h UT, while keeping the full Moon low in the sky in
south-western direction and out of the field of view for most instruments
during the night. The second storm peak at 10:30 UT will be seen above the great
lake area in Canada and the United States just before dawn, when
the apparent rates are highest.
The image shows the Earth from the perspective of the shower
at the beginning and end of the mission.
Related ground-based activities will be organized in Spain and
in the United States.