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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.