[Observatory and Planetarium]
Physics/Astronomy Teaching Position starting Fall 1999

Quadrantid Meteor Shower. This shower stretches from Dec. 28, 1998 to Jan. 7, 1999, with a sharp maximum on Jan. 3 when as many as 100 shooting stars per hour are expected. The nearly full moon during the shower's peak on Jan. 3 will make most meteors difficult to see, so the best time to watch will be during the brief two hour interval between sunset and moonrise while the sky is relatively dark. The radiant is near the tip of the handle of the big dipper.

Left: Artist Duane Hilton's concept of a Quadrantid fireball streaking through the moonlit sky above the White Mountain Range in central California.

Mars Surveyor - Mars Climate Orbiter was launched successfully on Dec. 11, 1998. It will go into orbit around Mars on Sep. 3, 1999. Mars Polar Lander was launched successfully on Jan. 3, 1999 - CNN story.

Geminid Meteor Shower - December 13, 1998. These are from the fragments of a curious object called 3200 Phaethon. Here is an animated GIF showing two meteors in Orion.

International Space Station - The first module, Zarya, was successfully launched on Nov. 20, 1998. In December the space shuttle Endeavour installed the Unity module. If you wish to see the space station from your own backyard, here is the viewing schedule. Live orbital tracking is also available.

From a balloon over Alabama at 3:30 a.m. CST on November 17, 1998.

1998 Leonid Meteor Shower

The earth passed through the debris of Comet Tempel-Tuttle with the peak of the meteor shower occuring on November 17, 14 hours earlier than predicted! The frequency was about 100 per hour in the midwest. Check out this Leonid 1998 web site, SkyPub, and the The Leonids, Live! web site.
Two bright Leonid meteors in the sky over Chiang Mai, Thailand. The picture was taken by Olivier Staiger.
Dazzling green Leonid fireball in the sky over Cape Canaveral, Florida. The picture was taken by astrophotographer Steve Dunn at 6:00 am EST on November 17.
An 8mm All-Sky photograph of a Leonid fireball and a dozen meteors, a result of a composite of 10 photographs taken near the Powell observatory in Louisburg, Kansas. The photos were taken by Vic Winter and Jennifer Dudley. The fireball occured at 1:45 a.m. CST on November 17, 1998.

Mel Peterson, Director
John Deere Planetarium
Augustana College
Rock Island, IL 61201
(309) 794-7327
e-mail: chpeterson@augustana.edu
URL: http://helios.augustana.edu/astronomy
This site is maintained by David R. Renneke. Last update: January 6, 1999.