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The 1997 Leonids outburst
Received 5 October 1998 / Accepted 12 March 1999
In November 1997 a shower of bright Leonid meteors was observed from Spain. The visual and photographic measurements of the Zenital Hourly Rates (ZHRs) and the respective spatial number densities together with the meteor distribution characteristics indicate the existence of a broad component rich in large grains prior to the perihelion passage of P/Tempel-Tuttle comet. This dust component may be responsible for similar outbursts in previous appearances. However, the Lunar conditions impeded in 1997 obtaining conclusive evidence of the presence of a component of small meteoroids from more recent ejecta, really responsible for past meteor storms. After comparing 1997 peak data with 1965 data, a very close pattern is detected that supports the presence of future storms.
Key words: meteors, meteoroids comets: individual: 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
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Online publication: March 21, 2000