The 1999 Leonid meteor storm: Verification of rapid activity variations by observations at three sites

W. Singer, S. Molau, J. Rendtel, D. J. Asher, N. J. Mitchell, U. Von Zahn

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12 Citations (Scopus)


We report observations of an unpredicted fine structure in the activity profile of the Leonid meteor storm of 1999 November 18. Our observations were obtained at three widely separated sites (on the Iberian peninsula, in Germany, and in northern Sweden) and with two totally different techniques (video cameras and meteor radars). The observations clearly show quasi-periodic variations of the meteor rate with temporal separations of individual maxima in the 6-to 9-min range. These temporal variations translate into spatial variations within the dust trail with scales between 10 000 and 30 000 km, depending in which reference frame or direction one chooses to compare. The times for the central three maxima as observed at the three sites agree within 2 min of each other after application of the appropriate topocentric time corrections. We consider a number of potential causes for the observed density variations within the meteor stream.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L25-L29
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2000


  • Comets: individual: Tempel
  • Meteors, meteoroids
  • Tuttle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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