University Lowbrow Astronomers

Leonids and Star Gazing at Hudson Mills.

What is it?

A special open house at Hudson Mills Metropark November 18, 2002 to allow the public to look through telescopes at a variety of astronomical objects and view the Leonid meteors. The park will stay open all night until dawn for the event. It is expected that meteors from the Leonid Meteor shower will be visible at Hudson Mills Metropark located near Dexter, Michigan.

The Leonids occur every year during the month of November, but they were especially active during 1998, 1999 and also 2001. Some scientists are predicting an impressive display for 2002, but of course we cannot be 100% certain. In addition to telescopes, there will be a series of talks aimed at the general public on different aspects of astronomy including some of the following topics: how to use a star map, the constellations, the planets, telescopes, the moon, meteors and comets.

When is it open?

The open house will take place on Monday evening November 18, 2002 starting at sunset. The park will remain open all night until dawn. If the weather conditions are expected to be very unfavorable, such as cloudy, very cold, raining or snowing, the open house may be canceled. If in doubt, call (734)-332-9132 the day of the event to determine the status. It may get cold at this event (dress warmly).

Expected activity

For Michigan observers, there are two peaks predicted, the first one the evening of the 18th, 11pm to 1am and the second one from 4am to dawn the morning of the 19th. In the early part of the evening we are only expecting a nominal number of meteors (not very many) and as the clock approaches midnight there may be a small increase, but we may be pleasantly surprised. The phase of the Moon is full, so this will limit the number of faint meteors we will be able to see.

The second peak is predicted to be spectacular and the reason for staying open all night. This second peak from 4 am until dawn may produce meteors at the rate of 2000/hour or more. We are expecting the number of meteors before and after the first peak to be greater than the number for a typical evening.

For observers at other locations, the timing may be different. See the NASA 2002 Leonid Forecast for more information.

Reports from previous Leonid observations can be found at Leonid Observer’s Guide (revised October 2002) or 2001 - A Leonid Odyssey (November 20, 2001).

The Lowbrow Astronomers host many events through the year. Go here for a calendar of other astronomy events.

How do I get there?

Hudson Mills Metropark is near the intersection of North Territorial and Dexter-Pinckney Roads (shown as M-Park on the map below) about two miles from Dexter, Michigan. The entrance is on North Territorial Road about 1/3 mile East of the Dexter-Pinckney Rd intersection. There is a charge of $2 to enter the Metropark during this event.

Map of Ann Arbor area

Click here for a larger version of the area map.

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