Radio Leonids 1998
( Forward Scatter )
On November 17, 1998 the Leonid Meteor Shower produced a
truly spectacular display of fireballs.
Generally, forward scatter
radio meteor observations can give a fairly accurate count of individual
meteors but on this night
there were so many negative magnitude fireballs that my radios were saturated
by long periods of multiple
transmitter reflections.Whereas this audio did
not produce a precise count of individual meteors I
believe it does give a good "feel" and texture of the supersaturation
of the upper atmospheres on that rare and special night.
These audio recordings were made in stereo using two separate radios, each
with its own FM antenna.
Frequencies were 89.5 FM MHz and 91.1 FM MHz with antennas oriented eastwards.
observing location is north central New Mexico and I was receiving stations
away as central Illinois and possibly beyond, well over 1000 miles away.
Here then are some audio specimens that I have extracted from the night's
To begin with:
Baseline radio continuum and short cluster of small
meteors 18 seconds 433 KB
A quick sequence of fireballs with strong head echoes.
38 seconds 897 KB
Long meteor trails reflecting in multiple transmitters. Typical of the night.
1 minute 17 seconds 1.8 MB
Fireballs are striking with
rapidity bouncing in multiple transmitters.
You can hear many stations simultaneously as fireballs strike one after
You can also hear a sort of "swoosh-swoosh-swoosh" as meteor trains deteriorate
the signal reflections dissipate. I believe there is a lot of ionospheric
data in these recordings.
Note: This is a large sound file.
7 minutes 18 seconds 10.2 MB
Information on the forward scatter method of meteor
detection can be accessed at:
Radio Fireball Observatory