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.

2001 December 12
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 the highest resolution version available.

Leonids Over Korean Observatory
Credit & Copyright: O Chul Kwon (SoBaekSan National Observatory)

Explanation: There were two peaks to this year's Leonid Meteor Shower. The first peak was best seen during the early morning hours of November 18 in North America, while the second peak, almost twice the intensity of the first, occurred eight hours later and was best seen from Asia. Pictured above is an image of SoBaekSan National Observatory in Korea during the second Leonid peak, starting at 3:50 am local time. Visible in the background are numerous Leonid meteors bright enough to be seen over background light even during the 40-minute exposure. Local observers reported an average of over one meteor per second during this outburst. Next year's Leonid Meteor Shower might be even more intense but will have to compete will the glare of a nearly full moon.

Tomorrow's picture: Dry Ice Age

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.