1999 Leonid MAC
The following arguments decided the chosen flight path:
- Leonid "storm" component (only visible over Europe/Africa):
- main peak between 01:00 - 03:30 UT November 18, 1999, possible at around 02:08 UT (this is 21:08 EST, Nov 17)
- duration: 1-3 hours (sharp maximum)
- peak rate of order 100 to 10,000 /hr
- rich in faint meteors
- peculiarities: there may be a background component to this peak that is longer
- observing strategy: 7+ hour flight, covering period 3.5 hours before 2 UT until
3.5 hours after 2 UT on November 18. Best viewing in dark and clear skies.
- Leonid "filament" component (visible all over the world):
- peak about 0.3 days earlier on Nov 17.
- duration: up to 3 days. Rates will be elevated in nights of Nov. 16/17, Nov. 17/18
and Nov. 18/19.
- peak rate down from last year ~ 100/hr
- rich in bright meteors
- peculiarities: time of the peak is highly uncertain. May not return at all
- observing strategy: 3-night mission. Spotter cameras to not miss bright meteors
and persistent trains
Earth as seen from the perspective of Leonid shower at 1:48h UT, 1999 Nov. 18