WCAC 1999 Leonid Observations
Below are some of the WCAC members observations of the 1999 Leonids.  Thanks to those of you who shared your observations.

Reported by:


Bill Castro observed: (return to top)

My location was Louisville, OH (on my back deck). I saw about 12 Leonids and 2 Taurids. The Taurids were going away from Taurus (from South to North). The best viewing was after 1:00 AM  EST. The early meteors (3 or 4) were very dim with the moon being up. After the moon went down  I saw the rest with 3 or 4 of them being mag 2 or 3. An additional Leonid was viewed at 5:40 AM while getting ready to go to work.  It was mag 2 and appeared to come straight down (with Leo being high up).

My limiting magnitude was 3.5 to 4.0 with the moon up and 5.0 to 5.5 after 1:00 (with the moon out of the way).

I observed from 9:00 PM till 3:15 AM EST. I would observe from the top of the hour till half past, go inside for a 20 minute nap (from half past until 10 till the top of the hour) then return outside at the top of the hour. At 3:15 I started to fall asleep outside, decided I was nuts, and called it a night.  I did get lucky again at 5:40 AM while getting up to go to work.

My viewing area included Auriga, Taurus, Perseus, Triangulum and Ares.

Dave Gill observed: (return to top)

I lasted about 25 minutes in my back yard between 2:20 and 2:45. I saw one Leonid almost immediately.  One sporadic a couple minutes later.  Then nothing.  Took the dog back in and saw many Z's - mostly sporadic.

Phil Hoyle observed: (return to top)

Venus and Leonid image (661 KB) 

I observed with a group in South East Ohio.  Arrived at the site at approximately 10:00 PM EDT.  Others who were already there reported that they had not seen a single Leonid.  There were other random(?) meteors.  As we watched the Moon set and waited for Leo to rise we all saw several meteors that seemed to originate far in the West and travel nearly due East.  These West to East meteors would continue sporadically all night.  They were not Taurids.  Taurus was still too far in the East.  We were all wondering if there was a second (third?) concurrent shower.

I don't think any of us saw a single Leonid until well past midnight.  They seemed to peak between 3:30 and 4:00 AM EDT for our location and continued until we left just before morning twilight (5:45).  I would have to guess that at the peak, someone in our group of 4 saw a meteor at a rate of about 3 or 4 per minute.  For just myself, able to see somewhat less than about 90 degrees of sky at a time due to my glasses and hooded sweatshirts blocking my peripheral vision, I would have to guess that I saw about one or two per minute at the peak.

It was a very cold night (25 degrees F), but it was the best meteor shower I had ever witnessed.

I would also like to add that we were comparing the shower to a fireworks display.  Most of us thought the meteor shower was better except it normally isn't quite that cold on the Fourth of July! 

It's one thing to be out in the cold when its 25 degrees.  It's quite another thing to be out in the cold for 8 hours when its 25 degrees.

Mike Rossetti observed: (return to top)

The meteor shower watch at Walsh was a huge success. 

I held the event from 9:30-11:00.  I'll save some of the details for later, but the attendance was phenomenal.  About 46 people attended, give or take 5.  About 30 were students, the rest were adults.  The skies were clear, but the meteors weren't falling.  I myself saw none.  A few people saw one or two.  The telescope really took center stage.  I borrowed an 8" f/4 Dob from the club.  Saturn was the crowd favorite.

I had a great evening. I know Walsh will be a good place to bring the stars to.    Thanks for asking about the watch.

John Waechter observed: (return to top)

I went out on my deck at 9:30. The moon was still pretty high.  My daughter Lisa & I sat for an hour - saw no meteors.  I got up at 12:45am. The neighbors had turned off most outside lights, the sky was as dark as it ever gets at my location.  In a hour I saw 5 Leonids (one fairly bright - about mag 0) and one meteor going the opposite direction (an anti-Leonid??).  Not much of a storm.


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Last updated January 19, 2001 by Bill Castro