Radio Observation of the 2000 Leonids
Data Collection and Analysis
I used the FM radio system described on my main page. The 2000 Leonid meteor shower showed significant activity at its peak, much higher than the background rate of sporadic meteors of 3 - 5 meteors per hour. There was also significant activity in the days surrounding the peak. The activity rates were determined by the same computer program that I used for my 1998 Leonid and Geminid studies. It counts as meteor signals all peaks with an initial rise greater than 20% of the background in one second. This criterion prevents noise signals from being counted as meteors. See my main page for more details.
2000 Leonid Data
The following are the raw data for the 2000 Leonids from midnight, 11/17/00 through 11/18/00 4:00 AM EST. Each strip is a 15 minute trace.
Leonids for the period 11/17/00 midnight through 11/18/00 1:00 AM EST
Leonids for the period 11/18/00 1:00 AM through 2:00 AM EST
Leonids for the period 11/18/00 2:00 AM through 3:00 AM EST
Leonids for the period 11/18/00 3:00 AM through 4:00 AM EST
Rates for 2000 Leonids
The following graphs show the meteor count rates per hour that I measured for the 2000 Leonids. These rates were determined by a computer program that counted all peaks that climbed at least 20% above the background level in one second. The first graph shows the rates observed for an extended period starting at noon on November 12, 2000, and continuing through the Leonid peak and several days after. The second graph is a detail of the rates observed for two days centered on the Leonid 2000 shower.
The peak intensity of the 2000 Leonid meteor shower occurred between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM EST on November 18, 2000. The peak rate was about 125 meteors per hour. This is close to the peak of the 1866 Temple-Tuttle dust steam predicted to have been at 07:51 UT on November 18, 2000 (11/18/2000, 2:51 AM EST). Note that heavy Leonid activity is predicted for 2001 and 2002, so build your radio observatory now!
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Comments and technical questions can be addressed to me care of my father, Devlin Gualtieri, at Honeywell Laboratory, Morristown, NJ.