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Go see a piece of the comet that taught us where the meteor showers come from




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Every year, as the earth regularly orbits the sun, meteor showers are repeated repeatedly.

The August Perseids and December Geminids are spectacular annually, but the November Leonids have more astronomical importance.

In contrast to its typically modest show, the Leonid screen is spectacular every 33 years.

In 1833, the Leonids caused a meteor storm worldwide, producing over 1,000 meteors per hour.

For each of the next 32 years, they were quiet, but then exploded again in 1866.

British astronomer John Couch Adams, famous for almost (but not completely) discovering Neptune, had an idea in three parts.

1.) What we observe as "falling stars" or meteors are small grains of dust that move rapidly burning in our atmosphere.

2.) Meteor showers recur annually as the earth passes through each stream of dusty debris.

3.) & Nbsp;Every stream of debris is scattered, but has a point of maximum density, corresponding to meteor storms.

His idea was speculative, but verifiable, assuming he could find his parents body.

His experience in calculating orbits while looking for Neptune proved indispensable, deriving a 33-year-old Uranus orbit for the Leonidas.

It matched the newly discovered Tempel-Tuttle comet almost exactly, inaugurating the meteor shower comet connection.

The Leonids Peak tonight, marking 153 years of humanity, knowing the cause of these heavenly fireworks.


Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, images and at most 200 words. Talk less; smile more.

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Every year when the earth regularly orbits the sun, meteor showers are repeated repeatedly.

The August Perseids and December Geminids are spectacular annually, but the November Leonids have more astronomical importance.

In contrast to its typically modest show, the Leonid screen is spectacular every 33 years.

In 1833, the Leonids caused a meteor storm worldwide, producing over 1,000 meteors per hour.

For each of the next 32 years, they were quiet, but then exploded again in 1866.

British astronomer John Couch Adams, famous for almost (but not completely) discovering Neptune, came up with a three-part idea.

1.) What we observe as "falling stars" or meteors are small fast-moving grains of dust burning in our atmosphere.

2.) Meteor showers recur annually as the earth passes through each stream of dusty debris.

3.) Every stream of debris is scattered, but has a point of maximum density, corresponding to meteor storms.

His idea was speculative, but verifiable, assuming he could find his parents body.

His experience in calculating orbits while looking for Neptune proved indispensable, deriving a 33-year orbit from Uranus for the Leonidas.

It matched the newly discovered Tempel-Tuttle comet almost exactly, inaugurating the meteor shower comet connection.

The Leonids Peak tonight, marking 153 years of humanity, knowing the cause of these heavenly fireworks.


Most of the time, Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, images and at most 200 words. Talk less; smile more.

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