Leonid dust trail positions in 1966

The most spectacular meteor storm in living memory was the Leonid display of 1966. The diagram demonstrates that it occurred when the Earth passed through the dense Leonid dust trail that had been generated around the 1899 return of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. The timing, Nov 17.5 UT, shows that the meteor storm was observable from the western United States. The Earth encounters the same trail in 1999 November, but at a larger distance from the centre of the trail, meaning that the storm will not be at the level of 1966.

A fuller explanation of these trail cross section plots is available.

Go to Armagh Observatory Leonid page.

Last Revised: 2009 November 10th