California Surprise: A California Observation of the 1833 Leonid Meteor Storm




Olson, Donald W.
Doescher, Russell L.

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Griffith Observatory


The most recent reassessments of last year's Leonid meteor activity have persuaded pilgrims seeking the legendary Leonid storm to expect a true meteoric spectacle on its usual 33-year beat sometime between 16 and 18 November. Serious money is on the eastern Atlantic Ocean and western Europe for the most intense celestial pyrotechnics, but these projections still depend on a lot of guesswork. No Leonids are as legendary as the 1833 firefall, which was seen and documented over much of the territory east of the Mississippi. Because reports from the Far West are not well known, most modern accounts conclude the event was geographically restricted. Here, however, a pair of professors at Southwest Texas State University demonstrate the fallacy of common knowledge and provide a previously unrecognized account of California fireworks.



Leonid Meteor Storm, California Astronomical Observation, Physics


Olson, D. W., & Doescher, R. L. (1999). California surprise: A California Observation of the 1833 Leonid Meteor Storm. Griffith Observer, 63(11), pp. 12-15.


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