2001 Leonid Meteor Storm

Here are pictures of the November 18, 2001 Leonid Meteor Storm as witnessed from my home in south Louisiana.   The pictures only give a glimpse of what I saw.   It was the most meteors in one night I've ever seen! 

We stayed up all night and the shower got better and better as it approached dawn.   In fact, as dawn broke, meteors were still raining down and could be seen as the sky lightened to normal early morning colors.  I was counting meteors at the rate of about 3 every 2 to 5 seconds just before morning twilight started washing out the meteors and faint stars.  They were coming down like rain!

For the pictures, I used a standard 35mm film camera with a 50mm lens, 200 and 400 ISO speed film and a tripod.  Most of the exposures were from 15 to 35 seconds.   A few lights in my neighborhood made longer exposures too light "fogged" to show meteors well. Oh, well. ( I wish they'd put switches on light poles so I could turn them off during times like this!   Haha!) 

Anyway, it was truly the most awesome celestial show I've ever seen.  A meteor storm like the 1966 storm my father witnessed and I didn't, because he couldn't wake me.  I was just a child but my father's descriptions of it the next day made me yearn to one day see such a sight.  I finally got my wish in November of 2001, 35 years later!

 

2001 Leonid meteor over my home.  The bright star to the upper left is Sirius.

 

Another Leonid meteor streaks into the camera's view.

 

A dust trail or "train" from a large Leonid Fireball.

 

The dust trail starts to break up.  Note the faint meteor to the upper left.

 

Close-up of the remnants of a Leonid Fireball train.

 

Leonid passes near Jupiter.  (Background picture.)

 

Two Leonids near Orion.

 

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All Images Copyright 2003 Mike Broussard. All rights reserved.
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This page was last updated on 11/15/2003.