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More 2023 Leonid Meteor Shower obsevations (11/19-20/23)

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(@paul-jones)
Member Moderator Registered, Customer, ACAC
Joined: 9 months ago
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I managed to get back out for two more hours this early morning (11/20/23) at my dark sky observing site along CR 204 in southern St. Johns County (3:30 to 5:30 am), looking for post maximum Leonids. Once again I was pleasantly surprised by them.
Although I battled excessive humidity, patches of thick fog and occasional bouts with cirrus cloud haze, the Leonids were still producing very well! I ended up getting 23 more Leonids this morning (hourly counts 10 and 13). Also, the meteors were brighter and more distinctive by far this morning than they had been the previous morning.
Virtually all of the Leonids were brighter than 3rd magnitude magnitude and several were in the +2 to zero magnitude range and about half of them left nice smoke trains behind them. Quite different than the super faint wisps I saw from them the previous morning!
Also, the Taurids kicked back in nicely this morning with four lovely, long, slow beauties being seen slowly crossing big chunks of sky. This morning's meteors more than made up for the subpar observing conditions, I must say. Although no fireballs of any kind were noted.
The Leonids have a reputation of being a sharply peaked meteor shower that are usually hardly seen far from their maximum date; however, this year at least, the Leonids seem to be lingering long past their maximum! Here is the hourly breakout I had from this very interesting and quite unexpected morning:
11/19-20/23 3:30 to 4:30 am EST - 10 Leonids, 2 Taurids, 10 sporadics for 22 total meteors.
11/19-29/23 4:30 to 5:30 am EST - 13 Leonids, 2 Taurids, 1 November Orionid and 13 sporadics for 29 total meteors.
I never would have expected to see 23 Leonids in just two hours a full 48 hours after the predicted maximum, although it is just the latest example of the unpredictability of this meteor shower!

   
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