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ESA scientists capture the Lion's offspring down under (continued)


Question: You mentioned the threat from bad weather, heat and bush fires. Were there any other problems that you had to overcome?

Leonid 2001 observing campaign site in Australia.

Trautner: We were driving around looking for a good site to set up the MI probe when we had an encounter with a farmer's daughter wielding a rifle! She did not realise that her father had given us permission to be on the property and thought we were trespassing. She told us in no uncertain terms to get off the property. It was only after she rang her father that she realised her mistake. She wrote us an apology afterwards.

We also had to keep a look out for lizards. Some of them were up to 1.5 metres long and they looked like small crocodiles! They were very shy, but if we saw any of these animals, we were very respectful! We also saw a lot of other animals - kangaroos, bush turkeys, emus, etc. There were plenty of insects too - sometimes they were a real plague.

Koschny: All in all, it was a fantastic experience. Especially sitting in the outback, with nighttime temperatures above 20 deg C, three hours away from civilisation, seeing the Magellanic Clouds and the Southern Cross, was something I will never forget.

Contact:

Dr. Detlef Koschny ESTEC
Noordwijk
The Netherlands
Tel: +31-71-565-4828
Email: detlef.koschny@esa.int

Links:

Leonids Down Under pages:
http://sci2.esa.int/leonids/leonids2001/links.htm

Leonids meteor page:
http://planetary.so.estec.esa.nl/meteors/ and navigate to "Leonids01"

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