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The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
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Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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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.