Leonid Meteor Shower

The Leonid Meteor Shower is the remnant of Comet Temple-Tuttle which returns every 33 years in mid-November. For several years around the comet reappearance there are an enhanced number of particles aligned along the comet orbit. These can be seen from the ground when they impact the Earth's atmosphere and burn up creating streaks in the night sky. Our concern is that a satellite can be damaged if a particle hits a sensitive component. There was a very intense meteor storm in 1966. For the reappearance in 1999 (and also 1988), SOHO took protective measures during the most likely period of danger - the few days around mid-November. No impacts were detected at all for either of those years. For 2000, the danger is expected to be quite low as detailed in a report by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Because the danger has been estimated to be no worse than the normal background, LASCO will not do anything special during this passage of the meteor stream.

LASCO 1999 Operations

LASCO 1998 Operations