The Leonids Meteors


The leonids meteors which are caused by a belt of dust and icy fragments left by the comet temple-tuttle, arrive every year between the 15th-20th November. In November 1998 and November 1999 the earth passes through the densest regions of this dust belt, hitting it head-on. In the recent past we have been able to see about 15-20 meteors an hour at their peak, 1996 being the last great shower with 150,000 per hour. Forecasts for 1999 predicted a spectacular show, with over 10,000 an hour. The meteors produced splendid trails as they begin to burn up, larger fragments exploded as they entered the earth's atmosphere. It was feared that because of its size the Mir Space Station will be a sitting duck but everything was fine and know damage was reported.