Did a Leonid meteor crash into the Moon, leaving a crater like this one?
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Highlights of the Leonid Meteor Shower
News story originally written on November 23, 1999
The Leonids have come and gone, but scientists are still studying this exciting meteor shower. One astronomer believes that he has videotaped a meteorite impacting the Moon! David Dunham, president of the International Occultation Timing Association, is looking for others that may have proof of this rare event.
Viewers in Europe and and parts of the Middle East saw the best show on November 18, 1999. Scientists estimate an average of 70 meteors an hour. Those living in North America had a small but respectable average of 20 to 40 an hour. Needless to say, all those that woke up before dawn received a special treat.
But not all scientists were looking through their telescopes. NASA launched a weather balloon shortly after the shower's peak, in hopes of capturing a meteoroid, which is a tiny meteor about the size of a grain of sand. Although the chances are very slim, scientists are hoping their instruments captured one of these speedy particles.
"It works like flypaper," explains NASA astrophysicist Dr. John Horack. "When tiny particles in the stratosphere strike the exposed acrylics, they stick. Then they return to Earth along with the rest of the payload. We've been testing a variety of substances for microparticle capture and the ones we're using on this flight look promising."
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more
In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more