Alpha Leonids

History

The strongest evidence for this stream's existence comes from the two sessions of the Radio Meteor Project conducted by Zdenek Sekanina during the 1960's. The duration of the stream definitely covers the period of January 13 to February 13, but it may actually begin as early as December 28. Maximum occurs sometime during the final week of January, with the average radiant then being near α=156°, δ=+9°.

The stream probably is a good example of a telescopic shower, however, traces of visual activity have been found in the records of the AMS and in C. Hoffmeister's 1948 book Meteorströme. In fact, the British Meteor Society's radiant catalog even gives the maximum ZHR as 10. In addition, a handful of photographic meteors have been found in studies published by F. Whipple (1954) and R. E. McCrosky and A. Posen (1961).

The stream's low orbital inclination has apparently made it difficult to firmly establish the stream's ascending node, thus, although the shape of the orbital plane is firmly established, the Argument of Perihelion and Ascending Node are differing by nearly 180°.