Leonids 2001 : Observational Results

DMS-members observing the Leonids 2001

Press Release:

A group of international observers at the Xinglong Station of the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China observed the Leonids on the night of 18/19 November. The Xinglong Station is located about 110 kilometers north-east of Beijing. The Leonids are dustparticles which are released while the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle passes the sun every 33 years. The meteors are called Leonids because they seem to emerge from the constellation of Leo.

Tonight the observers experienced a real meteor storm. That is, meteors appeared at a rate of about 40 meteors per minute at maximum. It looked like meteors where raining from the sky, and at certain moments 8 meteors appeared at the same time. It seemed to the observers as though they could really see the earth moving through space. Rates went up from 15:00 UT (Greenwich mean time) when the Leonid radiant rose above the eastern horizon. The maximum was at about 18:06 UT, and after this time rates went down slowly. Many fireballs were observed especially in the second part of the night.

The Sino-Dutch Leonid Expedition 2001 had set up 4 stations near the Xinglong area to provide multistation photography and video observations of the Leonid meteors. The aim is to compute the orbital elements of the meteoroid dust particles in space. Equipment at all stations performed flawlessly. The Sino-Dutch Leonid Expedition 2001 is a close collaboration between Chinese and Dutch astronomers to gain knowledge of the Leonid meteor stream and its

Observers include:

Dr. Jin Zhu of the NAOC, China Lew Gramer of NAMN, USA
Dr. Xiaojun Jiang of NAOC, ChinaArnold Tukkers of DMS, the Netherlands
Bin Yang of NAOC, ChinaCasper ter Kuile of DMS, the Netherlands
Dan Xia of BMS, ChinaJos Nijland of DMS, the Netherlands
Huan Meng of BMS, ChinaKoen Miskotte of DMS, the Netherlands
Jian Gao of BNU, ChinaMichel Vandeputte of VVS, Belgium
Min Guan of BNU, ChinaRobert Haas of DMS, the Netherlands
Rui Qi of QHU, ChinaSietse Dijkstra of DMS, the Netherlands
Wenzhong Liu of BNU, China
Xuefei Gong of BNU, China
Yongming Chen of BMS, China


  1. Website of the International Meteor Organisation: http://www.imo.net
  2. Website of the Dutch Meteor Society: www.dmsweb.org
  3. Website of the Sino-Dutch Leonid Expedition 2001: http://vega.bac.pku.edu.cn/~zj/meteor/SDLE2001.html

Information contact:

Mr. A.S. Tukkers
Th. v.d. Borghstraat 9
NL-7591 TT Denekamp, The Netherlands
Phone: +31-541-354598 / +31-541-229700
E-mail: a.tukkers@planet.nl

Geographical Locations of stations of the Sino-Dutch Leonid Expedition 2001 around Xinglong, Hebei, China

Xinglong40 23 46,7117 34 41,8916
San Path40 04 39,0117 17 10,2111
Miyun40 23 29,3116 58 36,1176
Great Wall40 31116 32-

Equipment used by the Sino-Dutch Leonid Expedition 2001
Equipment used at Xinglong Station
  1. "Hazenarray" consisting of 11 Canon T-70 camera's with Canon 1.8/50 mm lenses. 4 camera's aimed at 75 degrees, 7 camera's aimed at 50 degrees.
  2. Rotating shutter: 12.5 rpm, 6 blades, yielding 75 breaks per second
  3. Film: Kodak Tri-X 400
  4. Start of exposure: 15:30 UT (22:30 local time)
  5. End of exposure: 22:30 UT (05:30 local time)
  6. Exposure time: 12 minutes
  7. Total number of exposures: 36
  8. Total exposure time: 420 minutes

Multistation videosystem
  1. Mullard XX1332 second generation Multi Channel Plate (MCP) Image Intensifier with 50 windows
  2. Canon 1.2/50 mm lens
  3. Panasonic NV-DA1 camcorder

Summary report of Leonids 2001 by Koen Miskotte (MISKO), Arnold Tukkers (TUKAR). Dan Xia (XIADA), Jin Zhu (ZHUJI)
from Xinglong station, Hebei, China
14:00 - 15:002100
15:00 - 16:0037541821
16:00 - 17:00215207990
17:00 - 18:009247564930
18:00 - 19:0013351388777635
19:00 - 20:007354353100
20:00 - 21:00504407550
21:00 - 22:0032722600
1 minute count of Leonids by  Koen Miskotte (TUKAR)

1 minute count of Leonids by  Arnold Tukkers (TUKAR)

These plot are derives using:
  1. Lm (limiting Magnitude) = 6.6
  2. Cp (Perception Coefficient) = 1.2
  3. r (Population Index) = 2.58
  4. RH (Radiant Height) = 32 degrees
  5. Gamma = -1.0
  6. Total observing time = 360 minutes
  7. Total number of meteors = 4000
  8. BIN = Total observing time (min) / SQRT(total observed meteors : 360 / SQRT(4000) = 5 minutes

  1. Dr. Jin Zhu, NAOC, CAS: full support of Sino-Dutch Leonid Expedition 2001 in China
  2. Dr. Jiang, NAOC, CAS: counterpart related to lichtcurves
  3. Student 1: hulp bij Jos en Sietse in Miyun station
  4. Student 2: hulp bij Robert en Michel in PanShan station
  5. Student 3: hulp bij Ro bert en Michel in PanShan station
  6. CSA-Amsterdam/Schiphol: Marcel Bakker: Cargo
  7. CSA-Amsterdam/Schiphol: Lianne Baai: Tickets, Sponsoring
  8. CSA-Beijing: Mrs. Ma
  9. CSA-Beijing: Mrs. Duan
  10. Stichting J.C. van der Meulen: Sponsoring kamerabatterij
  11. Rijvers metaal: Jaco Rijvers: grondplaten video-opstellingen
  12. Arena Multimedia: Peter van Rijswijk: bruikleen video camcorder & statieven
  13. PTT-Post internationaal: Dhr. Bos: tracking image intensifiers
  14. RIVM/LSO: Dhr R. Overwater: connectie naar de Bos
  15. EMO-Elektronics: Herr Harder: Image Intensifiers
  16. Reuters Press
  17. Bossmann: sweaters
  18. Wessels: Stickers
  19. Ben Kokkeler (Cosmos): Memorandum of Understanding and other organisational aspects
  20. Dr. Porubcan: Letter of recommendation
  21. Dr. Ceplecha: Letter of recommendation

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back.gif This page was last modified on November 23, 2001 by
Hans Betlem and Casper ter Kuile