We're potentially in for a treat tonight if you're lucky enough to live where there's less cloud cover (the South East looks promising), although at it's peak last night I was out and about in the countryside - the skies were crystal clear but I didn't see a single meteorite. Debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, they say. Anyone have more luck?
Too cloudy around Northumberland at the minute unfortunately. Hoping to get out on the next clear night, they should still be around for a few days yet. There will still be some of the Taurid shower on display at the minute too, my personal favourite!
I got out of my car at a hotel by Oulton Broad about 6pm, glanced up at the sky, saw a decent shooting star immediately, straight up above me.
A nice thing to see after a long working day!
The Leonids can be great, with a real chance of the odd fireball.
It's cloudy here with no likelihood of clearing, though.
Good luck to everyone who does have clear sky tonight - although I think the moon could be quite bright, which makes it a bit harder.
Can anyone remember the precise year of that fantastic Leonid shower around the millenium? I've tried googling but no real success. They were so big and bright they were lighting up my bedroom wall like car headlights. I actually thought I could hear some of them but I don't think that's possible. Some definitely changed colour.
Anyway fingers crossed for next year when the predicted zenithal rate is over 200 per hour in contrast with the measly 10 -15 we've been experiencing lately.
I think I have read about the Leonid shower having peak years before, there are several showers that have a periodicity to them.
It is actually possible to hear a meteor, you likely did. I heard one a few years ago during the Taurid meteor shower, it was very bright and left the sky scorched for about a minute afterwards.
It is logical to think that since the meteor is disintegrating many miles upwards in the atmosphere, that if it did emit a sound, it would reach you much later the light. Scientists think that they emit radio waves as the burn up and they are able to vibrate objects around you, producing sound. Its called the elctrophonic effect. Fascinating.
their ionisation trails reflect radio waves - there used to be a spanish transmitter on low VHF that you couldn't normally hear because of curvature of the earth but the ionisation trails of meteors mean you would hear the signal ping briefly for each trail as the vhf signal reflects off it and bounces back to places normally in the radio shadow. This reflection can happen with aircraft too (though it is the metal in the aircraft rather than an ionisation trail, hopefully) - in fact it was investigations into this phenomenon between the wars that led to the development of CH Radar that was so crucial in 1940.
You could bounce signals from the trail of a reentering space capsule too.