Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

November 16, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Leonids 1998: A Safe Meteor Storm
Credit & Copyright: W. Pacholka

Explanation: You're in no danger. During the meteor storm occurring tonight and tomorrow, thousands of bits of ice and rock will likely rain onto the Earth. Few, if any, will hit the ground. Touted as potentially the most active meteor shower since 1966, the Leonids of 1998 will be tracked by observers the world over. The meteor storm is caused by the Earth moving through the leftover debris of Comet Temple-Tuttle. The peak of the storm will be best visible tomorrow from Asia, though increased activity should be visible globally over many hours. It is even possible to monitor the storm live on the web. Pictured above is a Perseid 1997 meteor streaking across the sky behind an illuminated California desert.

Tomorrow's picture: Star Bubble

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.