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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Leonids on the Web
16 November 1998 7:00 pm
TOKYO--When the annual Leonid meteor showers peak tomorrow, the sun will be high over North America and prevent fans from viewing the most spectacular displays. But skywatchers with Internet access can catch the show on Tuesday, courtesy of astronomers in Japan, who will broadcast the meteor showers live on the Web.
The meteors blaze in the constellation Leo each November, when Earth passes through a band of dusty debris shed by comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. Most years, viewers treated to a clear night sky can see only about 15 meteors per hour. But when Tempel-Tuttle itself nears Earth, roughly every 33 years, the dust is thicker and the showers more spectacular, reaching up to 150,000 meteors an hour. The forecasts this year call for storms less intense, but still strong enough to worry some satellite operators (Science, 6 November, p. 1032).
Four separate groups will broadcast images from telescopes at seven locations scattered throughout Japan, which is expected to be one of the best places to view the coming storm. The main showers should begin about 9 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday and peak about 2:30 p.m. Two educational observatories--the The Saji Observatory, in Saji, and the Misato Observatory, in Misato--also plan to post images and video clips to their sites a few days after the webcast.
Unfortunately, cloudy weather is forecast for much of Japan tonight. But the earliest clearing is forecast for the area around Mt. Fuji--where an amateur group will use wireless transmission equipment borrowed from phone companies to send the images to a Web server. "Of course, they want to see the event themselves, but they also want to share it with as many people as possible," says Jun-ichi Watanabe, head of the Public Information Office of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, in Tokyo, which is helping publicize the efforts.