Volume 95, Issue 43

Friday, November 16, 2001
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Profs slam television war

Western students must consider fire safety

Run for your lives: the sky is falling!

Taliban predicts 'destruction'

Study: Canadian chicks dig university

News Briefs

Tuition not scaring the kiddies

University buildings crumbling

Smoker of the Week

Run for your lives: the sky is falling!

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Staff

The shooting stars in the sky on Saturday night may have nothing to do with that dreamy guy or girl whispering sweet nothings in your ear. It may just be the Leonid meteor shower.

The meteor shower is expected to happen this weekend on late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, said Peter Jedicke, spokesman for the Western Leonid project.

As part of an ongoing project on meteor phenomena, Western researchers will be watching the display from all over the world, Jedicke said. Some sites include Mongolia, Guam, Hawaii, New Mexico, Florida, Alabama and here at Western, Jedicke said.

Western astronomy professor David Gray said the showers occur approximately every 33 years and this year, there is a possibility for greater activity.

From an astronomical point of view, Gray said, studying meteor showers can provide answers to the chemical composition of material from which the solar system is made.

Rob Suggs, from the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and NASA manager for the Leonid project, said the practice of observing meteors is extremely useful for spacecraft operators, who often need to take preventative measures when a meteor shower occurs.

"Most meteors people see in the sky are only the size of a grain of sand," Suggs said, adding it is not the actual rock that is glowing but the atmosphere around it which is reacting when it passes through.

As for the exact time of when the shower is going to occur, Jedicke said they are predicting early Sunday morning, anywhere between 3 a.m. and sunrise.

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