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Astron. Astrophys. 348, 295-299 (1999)


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Meteor storm forecasting: Leonids 1999-2001

I. Ferrin

Center for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of the Andes, Merida 5101, Venezuela (ferrin@ciens.ula.ve)

Received 15 March 1999 / Accepted 19 May 1999

Abstract

We present a method for meteor storm forecasting, that we apply to the Leonids in 1999-2001. The method makes use of a plot where the particle density distribution around the comet is mapped (Fig. 1) and isolines of equal meteor intensity are drawn. The most significant result found is the existence of a "ridge" or region of high particle density, that corresponds to the great Leonid storms and that we identify with the "dust trails" that Sykes et al. (1990) and Sykes & Walker (1992) found behind all periodic comets. We present detailed calculations of the trajectories of meteoroids that will reproduce this ridge. We predict the intensity of upcoming Leonid showers by the position of the Earth in relation to the isolines. For 1999 we predict a zenith hourly rate (ZHR) of 3.5 K[FORMULA]1 K. For the year 2000 we can only limit the intensity to [FORMULA]. And for 2001 the ZHR will only reach to 400[FORMULA]100.

Key words: meteors, meteoroids

Send offprint requests to: I. Ferrin, Apartado 700, Merida 5101-A, Venezuela (ferrin@ciens.ula.ve)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: July 16, 1999

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