Leonids 1999: Observational Results!

The DMS Leonid Expedition 1999 in Portugal

Team "Almod˘var"

1. Locations
2. Impressions
3. Images

(Last updated: 99-11-28)

Geographical coordinates of location Almod˘var

Latitude: 37░ 30┤ 40┤┤ N

Longitude: 8░ 04┤ 03┤┤ W (!)

1999 DMS Leonid expedition to Portugal
Jaap van 't Leven

Based on statistical information on the weather situation in Europe and our experiences during previous trips to Spain, we decided on the south of Portugal as our prime observing site. By choosing the more remote Portugal we highly improved our changes of a clear sky and therewith reduced the risk of last minute drives to cloudless locations. During the trip and our stay in Portugal we obtained up-to-date information on the weather by visiting internet-cafes and downloading satellite-pictures using a Nokia Communicator. This enabled us to make our own prognoses for our observing site. Planning and preparing our trip as we did, really payed off. We left Holland on the morning of the 11th and after a 3-day, 2500 km trip by car, we found accomodation in Almod˘var, a town situated 50 km north of the southern coast (latitude: 37║30'40"N, longitude: 08║04'03"W, altitude:290m).

Peter set up his radio in one of the rooms of our appartement while the antenna was set up at the roof-terrace. During the night 17/18 he also observed visually from this roof-terrace.
Alex, Olga and Jaap carried out visual and photographic observations from a nearby hilltop, a 1 minute drive.

The nights off 14/15 (partly clouded), 15/16 and 16/17 were used for testing the equipment and adaptation to the new environment. During the day we relaxed, made little trips and visited the local restaurant frequently.

The night 17/18 started with a first quarter moon low in de west. As the moon set, the sky became darker with a limiting magnitude of 6.6. After the radiant rose no high activity was seen, but from 01 UT on that changed quickly. More and more Leonids started to appear. From 02 UT on Alex started counting Leonids in 5 minute intervals, while Olga continued estimating brightnesses. After 02.30 UT rates started to fall, but activity remained well above average. The long awaited Leonid-show was over. Everyone of us, broke his/her personal records for numbers of meteors observed in one single night.
Remarkable was the absence of bright Leonids, just an occasional magnitude 0 or +1 was seen (the brightest Leonid was -4 early in the evening). Also noticable where the groups of Leonids; every now and then as much as 8 meteors appeared at the same time.
From our observations we determined that maximum activity occured somewhere between 02 UT and 02.30 UT.

The following morning we celebrated this brilliant Leonid-display with a champagne breakfast.

Images of team Almod˘var in Portugal
Jaap van 't Leven

The appartmentcomplex in Almod˘var

The terrace on the roof of the appartment. Note the darkblue sky!

The observingsite on the hill with chapel

The observingsite on the hill with chapel

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back.gif This page was last modified on November 28, 1999 by
Jaap van 't Leven and Peter Bus and Casper ter Kuile