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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 12

Scientists Warn Of Most Intense Meteor Storm Since

From: Stig_Agermose@online.pol.dk=20
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 03:25:40 +0200
Fwd Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 12:07:40 -0400
Subject: Scientists Warn Of Most Intense Meteor Storm Since

>From the BBC. URL:


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Wednesday, June 10, 1998 Published at 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK


Scientists warn of meteor storm

(Image: Hubble Space Telescope will be turned away)
Astronomers and satellite operators are preparing for the most intense
bombardment by meteors since 1966. Our science correspondent David
Whitehouse reports.

The Leonid meteor swarm, so called because it appears to come from the
constellation of Leo, strikes the Earth every November.

Most years it isn't very noticeable. But every 33 years or so it can
produce a storm. And the next storm is predicted later this year or in

According to scientists at the meeting of the American Astronomical
Society in San Diego, the cosmic blizzard could disable satellites in
Earth orbit.

It could also provide a spectacular shooting star show for skygazers.

(Image: The Leonid storm)

There are about a dozen major meteor showers each year, the most famous
being the Perseids in August.

The meteors are tiny grains of dust shed from a comet. The Leonids come
from Comet Temple-Tuttle.

Satellite operators are preparing plans to protect their satellites.
The Hubble Space Telescope will be pointed away from the direction of
the meteors, the space shuttle will not be in space at the time and
many satellites will be turned so that sensitive areas are protected.

(Image: Lynch: storm could sandblast satellites)

According to Dr David Lynch of the Aerospace Corporation in California
thousands of flecks of dust could 'sandblast' many satellites during
the two-hour blizzard. Some satellites could be damaged.

While the storm is a headache for satellite engineers, astronomers are
planning a series of airborne observations to find out as much about
the Leonids as possible.

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Internet Links

*The Leonids

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