Predicting the most spectacular meteor storms is now a remarkably exact
science, with some excellent Leonid displays happening in recent
years, for observers in the right parts of the world. These predictions
involve the accurate modelling of dust trails
within the Leonid stream.
Nothing spectacular is expected from the Leonids in 2010. Indeed, attention
is turning instead to major outbursts in other showers, such as the
For the 2010 Leonids, it is possible (see links below) that the peak ZHR
(Zenithal Hourly Rate, the rate of meteors seen in idealised observing
conditions) could reach as high as 20, which would be marginally more than in
standard Leonid years. This peak will be around 15:00 UT on the 17th of
November (Pacific longitudes best) with the traditional peak being around
21:00 UT that day (central to east Asian longitudes best).
"Leonid Meteors Outburst" - press release
Movies of Leonid Meteors from night of 2009 November 16th - 17th
Leonids 2009: visual data quicklook
Peter Jenniskens / Leonid MAC
IMO Meteor Shower Calendar
Although the 2009 shower will not produce the storm level activity of the Leonids some years ago, observers in the right part of the world should see some nice outburst level activity. This will be due to material released by the Leonid parent comet, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, at various past returns, especially those in 1466 (16 revolutions ago) and 1533 (14 revolutions ago).
Here are some 2009 Leonid results we calculated with dust trail theory,
i.e. following techniques pioneered by
|Trail||Delta a_0||rE-rD AU||f_M||Time|
|14-rev||+0.136||-0.0005||-0.09||Nov 17, 21:15 UT|
|16-rev||+0.105||+0.0011||0.10||Nov 17, 21:20 UT|
|16-rev||+0.106||+0.0009||-0.04||Nov 17, 22:00 UT|
In fact, the above trail encounter data should not be interpreted as having the same accuracy as data for very young trails, because these older trails have had more time for the meteoroids in them to become more scattered or disrupted. But the independent calculations of various researchers have confirmed that both these trails ARE encountered by the Earth in the late UT/GMT hours of Nov 17 (maybe extending to the very start of Nov 18 depending on duration). See especially the results of Jeremie Vaubaillon's computer models.
As the lunar phase - virtually new - is excellent for the 2009 Leonids, there should at least be a few Leonids to see wherever (clear and dark) you are, on nights near Nov 17. Leonid meteors are best seen in the second half of the night (exactly how many potential observing hours you get depends on your latitude).
Predictions for 2003
"Leonid dust trail structure and predictions for 2002"
by R.H. McNaught and D.J. Asher
in PDF and Postscript formats.
Summary for 2002
Comparison of 2002 Predictions
Francis Reddy's Site
Gary Kronk Leonid page
Leonids 2002 at space.com
Warnings for Spacecraft
How to View Meteor Showers
Reports of 2000 Observationsfrom the IMO
Reports of 2000 Observations from the AMS
Reports of 2000 Observations from ESA
Leonid 2000 Radio Observations
Leonid 2000 Amateur Observations
Predictions for 2000
Other Leonid Sites
Leonid MAC - NASA Ames
Leonid Photos and Links from Timo Leponiemi
Leonid Site by Carl Koppeschaar
Near-Live Leonid Watching System
Ancient and Medieval Leonid Observations
Japan and the 1698 Leonids
International Meteor Organization
Last Revised: 2010 December 13th