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Welcome to the "2001 Leonid Meteor Shower and Storm" gallery of astrophotographs.com!

The photographs below are my among most recent efforts. Included here are photographs from the 2001 Leonid meteor shower and storm as seen from South Park, Colorado.

The 2001 Leonid meteor shower and storm images were taken on the morning of November 18, 2001. We awoke in Conifer, Colorado (our home at approximately 8000 feet above sea level) about midnight to partly cloudy skies, so we (wife Cheryl, myself and neighbor Bob Webers) drove southwest to South Park, CO, located at 10,000 feet above sea level and featuring wide open and windy 360-degree views. There exists much less light pollution from Denver as well. We set up two cameras, one (a Pentax Spotmatic equipped with a 28mm lens at f/3.5 using Fuji Professional Press P-800 color negative film pushed 1 stop) piggyback on a clock-driven Celestron C-8, and one (a Pentax Spotmatic fitted with a 17mm fisheye lens at f/4 using Fuji Professional Press P-1600 color negative film) on a standard tripod. Exposures were 2 minutes. Observing started about 01:30 A.M. MST (08:30 UT) and ended about 05:30 MST (12:30 UT).

From the beginning we became immediately aware that it was to be a special morning. In the first hour we observed at least one meteor every 15-30 seconds. At the maximum we saw an astounding 50 meteors per minute, almost one per second. Most were 2nd to 4th magnitude (the brightness of the stars in the Big / Little Dippers), but some were very bright bolides (much brighter than Jupiter!) leaving dust trails for sometimes well over 2 minutes. This maximum lasted only about 20 minutes, from about 03:10 to 03:30 A.M. MST (10:10 to 10:30 UT). These times correspond very favorably to the models presented in the November, 2001 issue of Sky and Telescope and Astronomy magazines. Our observed maximum and times were very close to the predictions of Esko Lyytinen and Tom Van Flandern of Meta Research in Washington, D.C.

Up to and after the maximum display there were still plenty of meteors (perhaps one every 5-30 seconds). Some of the brightest ones seemed to "explode" right on the horizon. As my back was turned, I thought that one of them was an approaching car's lights! Most of the brightest meteors were green. It was an amazing and wonderful morning of observing!

To further explore the "Something New" section of astrophotographs.com please use the various navigation strategies below the photographs.

In the photographs the dark round object is the front of the telescope tube the camera was mounted on, In the final photograph the "roundness" and distortion is due to the use of a 17mm fisheye lens.

Click a photo below for a larger view and detailed information about how, when and where it was taken. The Leonid meteor shower astrophotography is available via telephone ordering as noted below.

 

Click on this text or the "Something New Galaxy Icon" to the left to be transported to astrophotographs.com newest gallery of stunning Alaskan Aurora Borealis astrophotography -March, 2004.

 

Click on this text or the "Something New Galaxy Icon" to the left to be transported to astrophotographs.com gallery of stunning red Aurora Borealis astrophotography -- November, 2001.

 

Click on this text or the "Something New Galaxy Icon" to the left to be transported to astrophotographs.com gallery of Leonid meteor shower astrophotography -- November, 2001.

 

Click on this text or the "Something New Galaxy Icon" to the left to be transported to astrophotographs.com gallery of Total Solar Eclipse astrophotography observed from Zimbabwe in June, 2001.


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All images and narratives copyright Willis Greiner, all rights reserved.

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