Why go to Australia?
Studies of the Leonids, the famous annual meteor shower coming
from Comet Tempel-Tuttle, suggest that the number of visible meteors
will reach a peak of perhaps 15000 per hour on the night of 18-19
November. Unfortunately, the Leonids will be below the horizon in
Europe at that time. However, the Far East and Australia should
be well placed to see the light show.
"Although Mongolia and China are slightly more attractive
when it comes to the best observing conditions for the predicted
Leonid peaks, we have decided to go to the Australian desert,"
said ESA scientist Detlef Koschny.
"We took into account the cloud-free atmospheric conditions,
the ease of access and the familiar language," he explained.
"But our decision was also driven by the fact that we can
combine our meteor campaign with a test programme for a prototype
of a new scientific instrument."
Next: Lake Eda