Summary: Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 307, 919--924 (1999) [1999 August 21 issue]
The Leonid meteor storms of 1833 and 1966
D.J. Asher ?
Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG
Accepted 1999 March 23. Received 1999 March 15; in original form 1998 November 18
The greatest Leonid meteor storms since the late eighteenth century are generally
regarded as being those of 1833 and 1966. They were evidently due to dense meteoroid
concentrations within the Leonid stream. At those times, Comet 55P/TempelTuttle's
orbit was significantly nearer the Earth's orbit than at most perihelion returns, but
still some tens of Earth radii away. Significantly reducing this miss distance can be
critical for producing a storm. Evaluation of differential gravitational perturbations,
comparing meteoroids with comet, shows that in 1833 and 1966 respectively, the Earth
passed through meteoroid trails generated at the 1800 and 1899 returns.
Key words: comets: individual: 55P/TempelTuttle -- meteors, meteoroids.
1 PREDICTING LEONID STORMS
The most spectacular meteor storms of the past two hun
dred years were probably the Leonids of 1833 and 1966
(Kres'ak 1993a,b, Rao 1998). The Leonids' parent comet,
55P/TempelTuttle (Table 1), presently has orbital period