Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2010 December 12
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Leonids Above Torre de la Guaita
Image Credit & Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN)

Explanation: In 1999, Leonids Meteor Shower came to an impressive crescendo. Observers in Europe saw a sharp peak in the number of meteors visible around 0210 UTC during the early morning hours of November 18. Meteor counts then exceeded 1000 per hour - the minimum needed to define a true meteor storm. At other times and from other locations around the world, observers typically reported respectable rates of between 30 and 100 meteors per hour. This photograph is a 20-minute exposure ending just before the main Leonids peak began. Visible are at least five Leonid meteors streaking high above the Torre de la Guaita, an observation tower used during the 12th century in Girona, Spain. Over the next few nights, the Geminids are expected to put on the best meteor show of this year.

Tomorrow's picture: blue sky

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.