November 99 Observations

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The Leonids have come and gone! The imaging equipment worked well and several animated GIF's have been uploaded to the Near-Live Leonid Watching System

The cameras indicate a ZHR of 200-300 which is much higher than the 50 or so per hour reported by visual observers. All-in-all, it was a success! David Dunham, President of the IOTA, was able to image flashes on the moon, possibly Leonid meteor strikes, from my back yard! This represents the first ground-based images of a Lunar impactor! Congratulations and hats off to David Dunham, Brian Cudnik and Pedro Valdes Sada!

November 16, 1999

Ran one image intensifier with 55 degree FOV from around 2:45AM local until around 4:45 in hopes of catching an early fireball. Looks like the weather will cooperate for the Leonids! On with the show!

November 8, 1999

I have been preparing for the much anticipated Leonid Meteor Storm. I plan to shoot two image intensifiers and most of my time has been preparing these cameras for the best possible bang-for-the-buck. Both image intensifier's data will be used to troubleshoot forward scatter radar. One intensifier will use a web-cam feed in conjunction with the Near-Live Leonid Watching System, for real time viewing. However, I do suspect that at a frame aquisition rate of 1/60 second will not suffice in showing meteors. Even a bright bolide will show up as a real bright star and not like a meteor. They may have some streaking but they will not look like the traditional time-exposures of meteors.

I had a fun time writing the Near-Live site and learned quite a bit. I've also received several messages asking to extend the "Near-Live" concept to all cool astronomical events!