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.
November 19, 1998
Explanation: Rich in bright and awesome fireballs, the Leonid Meteor Shower came early this year. In fact, judging from meteor watcher reports the peak came nearly 15 hours earlier than the best predictions. Observers on the Canary Islands were probably close to an ideal viewing location and recorded a maximum of effectively about 200 to 250 meteors per hour near dawn on November 17 - way below the peak rate during the 1966 Leonid meteor storm display. Still, those blessed with clear skies in dark, early morning hours all over planet Earth were treated to a first rate cosmic light show. Roving astrophotographer Olivier Staiger took this stunning image of two bright Leonids in the skies over Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.