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Leonids 1999 - our experts
John Zarnecki

John Zarnecki of the University of Kent's Space Science Unit, is an expert on the study of primitive materials and bodies in the Solar System . He has long been closely involved with ESA activities: as a scientific investigator on the cometary missions Giotto and Rosetta, and principal investigator for the Huygens mission to Titan. As well as sitting on numerous ESA and PPARC (UK) advisory boards, he is currently a part-time advisor to ESA on science outreach.

Detlef Koschny

Detlef Koschny is one of ESA's foremost meteor experts, with a lifelong interest in the Leonids. He is a founding member of the International Meteor Organisation. He is currently involved in ESA's next cometary mission, Rosetta, and is based at ESTEC (NL). He devotes half of his time to scientific research, currently developing video systems for meteor observation and experimental studies of impacts in the laboratory. Detlef and his observing team are on location at the Observatory Sierra Nevada (OSN) close to Grenada in Southern Spain.

Joe Zender

Joe Zender of the ESA/SSD meteor team, is currently on location at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain. One of Jo's special fields of interest is impact cratering. He is pivotal in getting live images back to us here in ESTEC from the two observing teams in Spain. So as well as expertise on meteors, if you have detailed technical questions on cameras, observations or software - Joe is the man to ask.

Gerhard Schwehm

Gerhard Schwehm is the ESA project scientist for the International Rosetta mission, that will meet with comet Wirtanen. Having already worked on ESA's Giotto mission, he is one of ESA's foremost expert on comets and interplanetary dust. Gerhard is German, and did his PhD is Applied Physics at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum. He is based at ESTEC in Noordwijk.

Jean-Pierre Lebreton

As project scientist for ESA's Hugyens Probe, Jean-Pierre Lebreton has to be a patient man. Hugyens is on its way to Saturn's enigmatic moon Titan, reaching there in 2004. His particular speciality is planetary science and plasma physics research. On 16 and 17 November he will be busy trying to hear the Leonids, together with amateur radio operators from ESTEC's radio ham club. Join us on the night of the 17th - you might hear what a meteor shower sounds like! You can find out more by putting your questions to Jean-Pierre and his team.

Doug Caswell

Doug Caswell Canadian, joined ESA from Canada as Olympus Platform Manager. The Olympus spacecraft was probably hit by a Perseids meteor in August 1993 at the peak of its shower, which began Doug's interest in the potential of these meteor showers being harmful to spacecraft. The high speed particles create damage and plasmas on impact which can be quite catastrophic. It is fortunate that the numbers of particles is small such that the risk is low. Doug was lucky enough to see the fireballs this time last year, from the carpark here at ESTEC, so he "looks forward to a good show, with spacecraft to be missed as a target."

Rudiger Jehn

Rüdiger Jehn is one of ESA's specialists for meteoroid and space debris models. Working at ESA's operations control centre in Darmstadt, Rüdiger is on standby during "the night of the Leonids". The European Remote Sensing satellites ERS-1 and ERS-2 are controlled from here. In order to reduce any risk both satellites are switched off until the meteor shower is over. You can put your questions directly to Rudiger in the ESOC Control Room.

Bernard Fleck

Bernard Fleck is from Tauberbischofsheim, a small village in the south of Germany and studied physics at the University of Wuerzburg. He got his PhD in 1991. In 1993 he joined ESA Space Science Department at ESTEC (NL), but with the launch of SOHO in December 1995 he moved to Goddard Space Flight Center (US). He is now the ESA SOHO project scientist.

Thomas Mueller

Dr Thomas Mueller is one of ESA's foremost experts on asteroids, and even has his own asteroid named after him! He is especially interested in learning more about the relationship between comets, asteroids and meteors with regard to the formation and evolution of the Solar System. Working at ESA's Villafranca Tracking Station near Madrid as Resident Astronomer in the ISO (Infrared Space Observatory) Data Centre, his main focus is on infrared observations of Solar System objects. You can put your questions directly to him in the Control Room at ESOC, Germany.

Richard Marsden

Dr Richard Marsden is the project scientist Ulysses mission that is currently exploring interplanetary space over the poles of the Sun. Working for the Space Science Department, Richard is based at the ESA's Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk.

Marc Neijts

Marc Neijts has been an amateur meteorobserver for the last 20 years. He is a member of the Werkgroep Meteoren of the Dutch Astronomical and Meteorological Association and also a member of the International Meteor Organisation. His part of this expedition is low resolution spectroscopy of meteor trails and observing meteor reflections by radio.