Slooh will host a special live double broadcast Sunday night, November 17th, starting with a Meteor Watch of the Leonid Meteor Shower and ending with the show “Comet ISON’s Journey to the Sun” hosted by Paul Cox. The Leonid Meteor Watch starts at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST / 01 UTC (11/18) and is followed by the ISON Update at 9 PM PST / 12 AM EST (11/18) / 5 UTC (11/18).
Slooh’s live coverage of the Leonids will be accompanied by expert commentary from Bob Berman. The Leonids are considered one of the more prolific meteor showers in our night skies every year. They are associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle, and have been known to produce at meteor storms with rates of nearly 1,000 meteors an hour. In 1966, viewers witnessed a 15 minute period where the Leonids produced an incredible 1,000 meteors per minute. This November’s Leonids, however, are expected to produce a far more modest 15 meteors per hour and with the full moon out this weekend it will greatly diminish even that visibility rate. Nevertheless, Slooh will provide an All-Sky view live from the Canary Islands Observatory for this event for three and a half hours to give viewers the opportunity to witness those meteors that do overcome the moon’s light. The event will end at 8:45 PM PST / 11:45 PM EST / 04:45 UTC just fifteen minutes before the ISON show is set to start.
The second part of the live double broadcast will be hosted live by Paul Cox accompanied by live images of Comet ISON from Slooh’s Canary Island Observatory. Comet ISON is preparing for perihelion on November 28th when it will come just 733,000 miles from the Sun, and due to its hyperbolic trajectory it will whip around the Sun coming back virtually the same way it path as its approach. Still the big question being asked is whether or not the comet will survive that close encounter. If it does it will be visible to the naked eye making it one of the great comets. Using live images from the Slooh observatory Paul Cox will discuss the current state of the comet and what the possible outcomes of this close encounter will be as the world waits for the major question of Comet ISON’s survival to be answered.