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Leonids 2000 Observing Campaigns

Video Observation campaign

This year, there are three different observational campaigns involving scientists from the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands: the video observation campaign by Detlef Koschny; the radio observation campaign by Jean-Pierre Lebreton and Trevor Sanderson; and the Moon flashes campaign by Håkan Svedhem and a colleague from ESTEC's Space Science Department.

Detlef Koschny - scientist from the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands - is hoping to obtain three sets of simultaneous video observations on the nights of 16-17 and 17-18 November. While Koschny's cameras will be located in the Harz Mountains of Germany, his colleague Joe Zender will be duplicating the observations in the north of the Netherlands. A group of Dutch amateur meteor observers will also be assisting by making their own observations from a third site.

By using automated video cameras to continuously watch the same region of sky from three different viewpoints, the scientists hope to be able to calculate the altitudes and orbits of the dust grains entering the upper atmosphere.

In addition, meteor detection software will be able to scan the stored video images, eventually enabling the scientists to determine the numbers of meteors down to magnitude 8 or 9 (about 10 times fainter than the human eye can see).

"The video cameras have very sensitive, wide angle lenses. They will be generally pointing away from the Moon, since its glare tends to hide the fainter meteors," explained Dr. Koschny. "By using different sites, we will obtain stereo observations of the same meteors.

"We are not expecting to see as many meteors as last year, when there were several meteors a second at the peak period, but we may see a few hundred meteors an hour," he added.

Last Update: 18 October 2005

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