Leonids, a question

From: Andrew Clough (aclough@mit.edu)
Date: Sun Nov 18 2001 - 17:31:42 MST

I'm sure many of us watched the meteor shower last night. I was lucky
enough to see the beginning part ( at around 1:20 or so) from the top of
MIT's great dome, and later saw the most intense part from the roof deck of
my from 4:00 to 5:30. This brings me to something I found a little
puzzling. Near the beginning of the shower, the meteors seemed to be
brighter than the ones that came later. I've come up with a few possible
explanations, such as faster traveling comet fragments getting here faster
and burning brighter, or the smaller fragments being slowed more by
collisions with cisterran dust and the solar wind. If somebody knows the
answer, or even just solar wind density and velocity, along with the
velocity of the comet at the time the meteors broke off, I'd be much obliged.

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