Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
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November 2006 Issue 47
The Akumalian has finally gotten onto the Internet with its own web site, and this should alleviate some of the problems with the distribution of The Akumalian as a large Word document to an e-mail. Hopefully, this is working.
As it turns out, this is a fairly extensive issue with relatively long stories on two Mexican holidays that are coming up in the next few weeks. Then there's the usual local stuff.
QUIET HURRICANE SEASON OF 2006
The quietest hurricane year in a decade officially ends in TWO weeks, but meteorologists and disaster managers on the Yucatan, Gulf and Florida coasts agree that the season is already over.
"We dodged a bullet this year," says meteorologist Gerry Bell of the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center. "If there was ever a time that we needed a break, we got one."
After nine Atlantic storms that mostly stayed out to sea, there hasn't been another since Hurricane Isaac in late September.
The month of November, last of the season's six months, is also its lightest, averaging less than one storm every two years since the 1850s. Forecasters see little likelihood of another storm this year.
Bell and other scientists credit two factors for the mild season. They say a shift in atmospheric pressure over the Atlantic steered most storms away from land. Only tropical storms Alberto and Ernesto hit the U.S. mainland. A third, Tropical Storm Beryl, barely brushed Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.
Scientists also say the arrival of a new "El Nino" climate pattern has knocked down systems in the Atlantic and Caribbean with shearing winds before they could form into storms or hurricanes. The El Nino weather phenomenon occurs when water temperatures in the eastern Pacific rise. The result: Close to an average number of storms, but with far less effect than usual on Akumal and the USA.
Meteorologists caution those in hurricane zones not to let down their guard.
"Anybody foolhardy enough to think this is the end of it has got to be nuts," says Stephen Leatherman of the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University in Miami. "The high cycle of Atlantic hurricane activity is probably going to go for another 20 years."
After last year's record 28 hurricanes and tropical storms, the weather service and other forecasters had predicted another big season this year: up to 17 tropical storms, nine or 10 of them hurricanes and four to six major ones.
Will the insurance companies, like ING, offer us a rebate or discount next season?
HALLOWEEN PARTY AT LA BUENA VIDA, OCTOBER 31st
The event of the Akumal’s Fall social season was, without a doubt, the Halloween Party at La Buena Vida. It brought a number of reverse ex-pats back to Akumal (see Comings and Goings), to say nothing of the spooks, witches, ghouls, goblins, and general wierdos. Unfortunately, the Great Pumpkin did not rise out of the pumpkin patch, but Mama’s Funky Wagon kept the cliental hipping and hopping, reeling and a rocking until the wee hours of the morning.
Turtle Bay Cafe re-opened for dinner on Thursday, November 9th, and they are back onto the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings for dinner, as Bart & Jen get ready for their big Thanksgiving menu. Welcome back!
Restaurant re-opens on Wednesday, November 15th, as Laura and
Gerardo gear up towards Thanksgiving dinner there. Laura also reports that
the entertainment schedule tentatively begins again during Thanksgiving
week, and the preliminary agenda looks like:
Hechizo re-opens for the season on December 13th. Watch for their special dinners for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
AKUMAL COUNCIL GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING, NOV 3rd
On Friday, November 3rd, the Akumal Council held its last General Assembly Meeting of 2006 at the CEA Center, and it was reasonably well attended by about 18 – 20 civic-minded owners. The attendance could/should have been much higher, because the Akumal Council e-mailed notification of the meeting a good ten days before the meeting, and the distribution list used is quite substantial, well beyond “members only”.
It was a very good meeting with some very valuable information presented, albeit for North Akumal, for the most part. This write-up is not the Minutes of the General Meeting, and as such are only the observations of The Akumalian, not the Akumal Council.
Federal Highway Intersection Gonzalo Arcila gave an update on a number of topics, especially those very current and relevant to the highway; i.e. topes, pedestrian bridge, and the Federal Police at the bottom of the hill. Part of this was preceded by running through the series of events that occurred in Puerto Aventuras, resulting in the death of a young woman. While the Akumal Council has been pressuring the Municipal and Federal authorities about the dangerous situation at the crossing to the pueblo, the tragic accident in Puerto Aventuras was “the straw that broke the camels back”.
In Akumal, we now have the pedestrian overpass bridge, two fairly large topes, Federal Police coverage, and they have installed yellow warning lights (not turned on yet) for the north and south bound traffic, just by the topes.
Fidecaribe Building After two years of negotiations with the Municipality and State government, we finally have possession of this building (across the road from Akumal Real Estate) and the use of the palm-lined parking lot.
Now that we have possession of the building, it is the Akumal Council's intent to invest close to $10,000USD on doors, windows, bath room(s), electricity, water and telephone lines in order to make the building into a home for the Akumal Tourist Center and Akumal Police Headquarters. It was reported that the Akumal Council is just waiting for a final negotiation/approval from the Municipality Mayor for his support with the electricity and water bills.
After some discussion on this matter, it is not all that clear that the Akumal Council really knows what it wants to do with this building, because the Council does not want to be a landlord with all the daily/weekly/monthly maintenance, upkeep and expenses. Gonzalo estimated the monthly expenses to be around $400USD per month, and this was questioned by SteveC as being too high. Others voiced opinion that that amount was way too low.
While the building "could" be ready to house the Akumal Tourist Center - with or without the police - by high season, it seems very unlikely this will happen, even though there was a soft reference to this happening.
Akumal Clean Campaign
Thank to the intervention of Paul Sanchez-Navarro of CEA, the digging and pipe line will NOT go through the middle of the arch. Instead, the pipe will come down the side of the entrance road and then cut across through the CEA property at the Concha and parking lot.
The completion of the project is forecasted to require 2 months, but the digging portion of the schedule should take only 2 weeks. There will be some inconvenience, but the worst should be over by the start of high season.
The next step seemed like it was to be a process whereby Gonzalo could get some agreement from the owners on these major points, and a number of suggestions were made, including obtain the topographical survey drawings in a computerized (pdf file) format, so they could be put on the web site for all owners to see. SteveC has suggested the use of an on-line survey to poll all the owners in North Akumal about what they would like to see happen with the Municipalization of North Akumal, because all, at least most, of them could be polled via the Internet via a simple Survey format.
It will be interesting to see how this goes forward.
Gonzalo announced that he will give only one more year of his time leading this project.
The Akumalian left the 2+ hour meeting before this agenda item was completed.
MEMBERSHIP REPORT and GENERAL MATTERS. The Akumalian was not there for these discussions.
The Akumal Council has not published its official Minutes on the Akumal Council web site at www.akumalcouncil.com , but you still should make a point of visiting the web site at your earliest convenience.
CARTOON OF THE MONTH
DID YOU SEE IT? DID YOU SEE IT? YOU MISSED IT.
An infrequent astronomical sight - tiny Mercury inching across the surface of the sun - took place Wednesday afternoon, November 8th, in Akumal and North America. Unfortunately, you needed the right kind of telescope to see it.
Mercury is so tiny - 1/194th the size of the sun - and looking at the sun is so dangerous to the eyes that viewing had to be done with a properly outfitted telescope or online telescope cameras.
Still, for many people, it was the only chance to see the closest planet to the sun. Mercury is usually seen in the early evening, but it's often obscured by condo buildings and palm trees. With a properly filtered telescope you could see a small black dot against the face of a bright sun.
Mercury traveled between the sun and Earth in a way that makes it appear to cross - in astronomy the word is "transit" - the bottom third of the sun from left to right. Mercury's five-hour trek starts at 1:12 p.m. AT, and people in Western time zones of the United States were able to see the entire trip.
The last "transit of Mercury," as it's called, was in 2003. These events occur about 13 times a century, with the next one happening in 2016, according to NASA.
That's more frequent than the transit of Venus, which happens in pairs, roughly twice in each century. The next one is 2012.
Because of the timing of this year's transit of Mercury, it was visible in North and South America, Australia and Asia, but not in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India, where it was nighttime.
DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN? HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?
See the last page for the answer.
MEXICAN REVOLUTION DAY, NOVEMBER 20
This official Mexican holiday celebrates the Mexican Revolution of 1910. On November 20, Mexico celebrates the anniversary of its Revolution. On this date, in the year 1910 the war to overthrow the dictator Porfirio Diaz, began.
In the year 1910, people in Mexico were discontented. Three-fifths of the population were Indian, and they had been losing traditional lands to whites. The great bulk of Mexico's land had been taken over by about a thousand men, their great estates reaching thousands and sometimes millions of acres, while ninety-seven percent of the population in the countryside owned no land. In the Yucatan peninsula was debt serfdom, and conditions akin to slavery existed on some tropical plantations. Mexico's middle class was unhappy about the amount of favoritism that their government was giving to foreign businessmen. They were unhappy over inconveniences that they blamed on government neglect of public services. And middle class discontent, and the discontent of the poor, could not be expressed in elections. Mexico's president, Porfirio Diaz, was in reality a dictator. He was eighty years-old in 1910. He had ruled Mexico for thirty years, and his power had become endangered as Mexico's young elite and middle class youth were less tolerant of Diaz than had been their parents.
One young man opposed to the Diaz regime was Don Francisco I. Madero, a short man (5'3") with a high pitched voice and from a family with great wealth. He was from of Coahuila, a state bordering Texas. He had attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he had studied agriculture, and he had finished his education in France in 1895. From the age of twenty-one to the age of thirty-two Madero had been running his own cotton plantation, using advanced agricultural methods and helping to create a successful cotton industry in Coahuila.
Madero had sympathy for common people. He raised the wages of his workers above that which others paid. He gave them hygienic living quarters and saw to it that they received free medical attention. In his home he sheltered dozens of children, and he was paying for the education of a number of orphans. And being a man with heart, Madero criticized the Diaz government for its laxity in building schools, for not providing better water distribution and other amenities to common people and for bloody repression against dissent. He joined the Benito Juarez Democratic Club in a nearby town, San Pedro. He wrote political pamphlets, and he wrote a book entitled The Presidential Succession in 1910, about the Diaz' re-election.
Madero's book attracted a lot of attention. When he visited clubs around Mexico that favored honest elections, large crowds gathered to get a glimpse of the little man who had the courage to raise his voice. One month before the election, President Diaz had had enough of Madero, and in June, 1910, just before the elections were to be held, he had Madero and many of his allies jailed on charges of inciting people to riot.
Diaz won his election with a ridiculously large number of votes, and with the elections over and Madero apparently no longer a threat to his power, Diaz had him released from prison under bail and on condition that he remain in the same town as his prison, San Luis Potosi, in central Mexico. In October, Madero sneaked out of town and made his way to Texas where, later that month, he published a new book. In his previous book, Madero had described violence as counter-productive. In his latest book he expressed the need for a counter force against the Diaz regime other than massive pleadings. Pleading, he could see, was not enough. He called for an armed - in other words, violent - revolution.
Madero was in a hurry. He laid plans for his rising to take place on November 22, less than a month after his new book had been published. From his Texas headquarters, he laid plans with allies in Mexico. He planned to cross the border and put himself at the head of an army that would march to the capital, Mexico City, while his new book was creating a stir in Mexico and the press in Mexico and the United States were buzzing with excitement.
When the assigned day of uprising arrived, Madero crossed the border as planned, got lost, then finally found the men promised him. But rather than the initial 800 men that he had been promised, they were only a few, half of whom were unarmed. Madero returned to Texas emotionally devastated. He was now without money, and he considered giving up politics.
The notion that an uprising was taking place remained alive among many in Mexico, and it was still alive in the newspapers in Mexico and the United States. The expectations turned into a reality as armed rebellions occurred independent of Madero. In the state of Chihuahua (just west of Coahuila), a band of men led by a former bandit, bank and train robber, mine laborer and shopkeeper, Francisco (Pancho) Villa, attacked and defeated a contingent of Diaz' federal troops. And in Chihuahua another former miner, Pascual Orozco, took power in the town of Guerrero, and he became a local hero like Villa. An armed uprising was also underway in the state of Morelos, a state in the tropics, with a lot of sugar cane, located southeast east of Mexico City. The leader of this rebellion was a bright but illiterate young Indian named Emiliano Zapata. He had been outraged at the arrogance of the rich hacendados of his area who for decades had been stealing land belonging to Indian villages and getting away it.
President Diaz denounced the rising against him as banditry, and he sent a federal force against Villa and Orozco in Chihuahua. The federal army jailed unarmed people there whom its officers suspected of supporting the rebellion, and the federal army attempted to recruit local men to fight for Diaz and law and order. Instead, many men went over to the side of the rebels. And Madero, forced to leave the United States for having violated U.S. neutrality laws, joined the Chihuahua rebels.
To succeed, rebellion across Mexico needed a greater armed force than the army that government could send against it, and this was in the making. The failure of Diaz to crush the rebellion in Chihuahua encouraged revolts in six other states, built upon the widespread discontent against the Diaz government. And with rebellion occurring through much of Mexico and terrorizing Diaz's local officials, Diaz was overwhelmed. Diaz resigned his presidency and sailed for France, and news of his departure brought celebrations across the country that lasted three days and nights.
THANKSGIVING NOVEMBER 23rd
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is an annual one-day holiday observed in Canada and the United States to give thanks, traditionally to God. In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October and, in the United States, on the fourth Thursday of November.
Origins of Thanksgiving
Following a nineteenth century tradition, most Americans believe that the first American Thanksgiving was a feast that took place on an unremembered date, sometime in the autumn of 1621, at Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts. In 1620, a group led by separatists from the Church of England, who were heading for Virginia, instead landed at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, for uncertain reasons. In the autumn of 1621, they celebrated a three-day harvest feast with the native Wampanoag people, without whom they would not have survived the winter of 1620. This event was not viewed as a thanksgiving celebration at the time; the colony would not have a Thanksgiving observance until 1623 - and that was a religious observance rather than a feast.
The nineteenth century reinterpretation of the 1621 festival has since become a model for the U.S. version of Thanksgiving, but it was an established tradition before the popularization of the Pilgrim mythology.
The first known thanksgiving feast or festival in North America was celebrated by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and the people he called "Tejas" (members of the Hasinai group of Caddo-speaking Native Americans) on 23 May 1541 in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas, to celebrate his expedition's discovery of food supplies. In the sense of a feast in gratitude to God celebrated by Europeans in North America, this has a claim to be the true first North American Thanksgiving.
The next was apparently celebrated a quarter-century later on September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. When Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed, he and his men shared a feast with the aboriginal peoples. Later, the aboriginal people called themselves "apple-tangerines" (which may or may not indicate those fruits were on the menu at that "Thanksgiving").
Another candidate for the first true Thanksgiving in territory, now part of the United States, is the feast that the party of Don Juan de Onate celebrated April 30, 1598 near the site of San Elizario, Texas with the Manso Indians (Adams and Kendrick).
Thanksgiving is related to harvest festivals that had long been a traditional holiday in much of Europe. The first North American celebration of these traditional festivals by Europeans was held in Newfoundland by Martin Frobisher and the Frobisher Expedition to find the Northwest Passage in 1578, and Canadians trace their Thanksgiving to that festival.
PLAZA LAS AMERICAS IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN
On the west side of MX 307 in Playa Del Carmen, a new urban center is being developed on 76 hectares. These 76 hectares are for commercial use only, and the living and offices spaces will be built on top of the commercial spaces. In the Gran Plaza De La Riviera will be built the new city hall, civic center, fine arts city center, cathedral, city theater, pedestrian walk way where there will be, al fresco coffee shops, sport stores, boutiques, restaurants, bars, entertainment centers, jewelry stores, real estate offices and the best international luxury goods stores. There will be huge parking spaces, and ample avenues.
In the center of the development is the Plaza Las Americas, the biggest shopping mall in the Yucatan Peninsula. The stores that already have purchased space are: Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, McDonalds, Moyland, Cinepolis movie theater complex, Comercial Mexicana Supermarket, Coppel and Chedraui super center, among others.
the Gran Plaza De La Riviera is located in the west zone of the city, close to the return known as La Moneda, at around km 291 of the highway MX 307.
FULL MOON – DECEMBER 4th
December's Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon, occurs on December 4th at 7:24 pm. During this month the winter cold fastens its grip on Akumal, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name, because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon and Caribbean Sea for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky, because it is opposite a low Sun.
WHAT IS HE (BORAT) THINKING….?
MEXICO'S PRESIDENTIAL IGNAGURATION, DECEMBER 1st
Felipe Calderon, who takes office on Dec. 1, has called the U.S. plan to build a 700-mile fence along the border "deplorable" and compared it to the construction of the Berlin Wall.
SPANISH CLASSES AT THE HEKAB BE LIBRARY
Maggie McKown, the Librarian at Hekab Be Biblioteca de Akumal, announces that there is a Conversation Spanish Class starting at the Library on Monday, November 13th. Tourists are also invited, and students are welcome to “start” anytime after the 13th. The classes are on Monday and Wednesday, from 5:00 to 6:00pm, and the cost is $50 pesos per class. On Thursday, from 5:00 to 6:00, there will be a "Happy Hour" (BYOB) for Spanish conversation (practice) only; no English.
The Library is also offering two other classes starting on November 13. There's Basic English on Tuesday and Thursday- 5:00 to 6:00pm - and theses cost $30 pesos per class. The other class is Computation on Tuesday from 12:00 to 1:00pm and Saturday from 3:00 to 4:00pm, and these cost $40 pesos per class.
Maggie emphasizes that the environment in the Library is comfortable, light, and air conditioned.
DAY OF THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE DECEMBER 12th
Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, or the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, is celebrated on December 12, with a feast honoring Mexico's patron saint.
On this day people from all parts of Mexico make their way to Mexico's chief religious center at the Basilica of the Virgen of Guadalupe, located in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, a northern neighbourhood of Mexico City. There, they will celebrate the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) with a mass ceremony and a traditional fair in her honor. The Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe became a national holiday in 1859.
Today, tens of thousands of people travel to Mexico City to visit the place where the Virgin appeared to the Mexican People. The holiday is a national fiesta that includes traditional music and fun attractions. Pilgrims bring presents to the virgin, usually bouquets of flowers while other visitors will perform dances and song for her. Some pilgrims walk on their knees on the stone street leading to the Basilica, asking for miracles or giving thanks to the virgin for a petition granted.
At the plaza the fiesta starts after the mass ceremony with delicious food, vendors selling crafts and clothes, along with many performances of music and dance. In other parts of Mexico, similar festivities are organized with some unique variations of the celebration. In some places, altars of flowers are built in her honor. Other parts have traditional food prepared like bunuelos, raspados and tortas as well as activities like parades, rodeos, and bullfights.
The Spaniards, after they conquered Mexico, had in mind the goal of converting the indigenous indians into Catholicism. But the Spaniards encountered many difficulties, because the Mexican people had existing strong beliefs in their many gods. It wasn't until the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego that this started to change.
Juan Diego was a young indigenous Indian walking toward the Hill of Tepeyac on December 12, 1531 when he was stopped by the appearance of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary appearing to Juan Diego was a young woman with black hair and dark skin which looked more like an indigenous person. She ordered Juan Diego to go to the Bishop and ask him to build a church at the Hill of Tepeyac. Juan Diego then ran to the Bishop to tell him what the Virgin Mary had told him. The Bishop didn't believe what this young man was telling him and decided to ignore the petition.
The Virgin Mary appeared again in front of Juan Diego and told him to collect flowers from the top of the hill, but because it was December, Juan Diego knew that there was not going to be any flowers at the rocky hill. Upon reaching the top of the hill, Juan Diego was surprised to see that it was covered with colorful and beautiful flowers. Juan Diego, as he was asked to, collected the flowers using his overcoat and ran again to see the Bishop.
Juan Diego gave the coat full of flowers to the bishop, and here the bishop discovered the image of Virgin Mary's picture was miraculously traced on the coat. Seeing both the unseasonable flowers and the image of the Virgin, the Bishop realized Juan Diego had told him the truth, and The Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe was built on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
It is the middle of November, and the traffic has picked up considerably as owners and visitors flock to Akumal for Thanksgiving. And, the Halloween Party at La Buena Vida had drawn a fair number of the younger set back into town for the BIG PARTY.
MAYAKOBA GOLF CLASSIC
The Akumalian is working closely with Joe Mazzeo, the Tournament Manager, to get volunteers from Akumal for the Mayakoba Golf Classic, which is to be held at the Mayakoba resort on February 19-25, 2007. Do you want to be “inside the ropes”?
History will be made in February when the PGA TOUR heads to Mexico for the inaugural Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, the PGA TOUR’s first-ever official event to be held outside of the United States and Canada. To be held February 19-25, 2007, the Mayakoba Golf Classic will be conducted in Playa del Carmen at Greg Norman designed El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba, just 35 minutes south of Cancun. As you well know, volunteers are the backbone of every PGA TOUR event and it is their hard work that makes it all possible-and the Mayakoba Golf Classic will be no exception.
Volunteers are needed for all tasks; most notably marshals, shuttle drivers, walking scorers, media services and much more. As you know, being a volunteer is the only way to get "inside the ropes" and have the best view of this historic event.
In addition to being a part of golf history, volunteers will receive a number of other benefits, including:
· Uniform provided at no charge (Example: Shirt, jacket, hat)
· Continental Breakfast and Box Lunch provided each day to those working
· Volunteer credentials will grant access to tournament grounds on days not scheduled to work
· Volunteers will be invited to an Appreciation Party following the tournament
For more information about volunteering at the inaugural Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, go to the web site at www.mayakobagolfclassic.com for complete information, or to sign up, please email Tournament Manager Joe Mazzeo at email@example.com . SteveC also has copies of the Volunteer document and the Application Form.
HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
Staying With the night - rather the morning - sky, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) will be passing almost directly over Akumal at 4:46AM (yes that is AM) on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23. So if you are just coming home from a festive Thanksgiving Eve party, look up and see the HST. It will be just on the north side of Akumal.
Have you noticed your ceiling fans turning faster, or your lights burning brighter, especially at night. There is one metered outlet at Casa Colibri that records the voltage at 130 - 137 volts in the evening and early morning hours. Daytime tends to be around 122 -125 volts.
DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN?
That is Daniel Craig (Layer Cake, Road to Perdition) who was picked last year to replace Pierce Brosnan, as 007 James Bond. Craig stars in Bond's latest incarnation, Casino Royale, which opens November 17th "at a theatre near you". How long before it gets to MMCinemas in Playa del Carmen? December 8th.
DID YOU KNOW? He is the first actor portraying Bond to be born after the movie franchise started.
Other leading film roles have included Sword of Honour (2001), Sylvia (2003) with Gwyneth Paltrow and Enduring Love (2004) with Rhys Ifans. In 2006, after completing work on Casino Royale, Craig moved on to portraying the character of Lord Asriel in the forthcoming film adaptation of Philip Pullman's novel The Golden Compass. In a stage version of the book this role had previously been played by Timothy Dalton, one of Craig's predecessors in the role of James Bond.
LEONID METEOR SHOWER
For the most part, this year's Leonid's display should be a pretty typical meteor shower. Just days away from New Moon, the sky will be free of moonlight, so you should be able to see as many as 20 faint, fast-moving meteors per hour during its peak (the evening of November 17, early morning of November 18).
However, unlike a typical meteor shower, astronomers are predicting an unusual "outburst" of meteor activity late November 18 - early November 19 (the date it occurs depends on where you live in Akumal).
Viewers along the northeastern coast of the United States and Canada, as well as people in Europe and western Africa might get to see a possible "outburst" of as many as 100-600 meteors per hour. This spike in activity is predicted for 11:45 p.m. - 1:33 a.m. EST on November 18-19 (4:45 - 6:33 UT on November 19).
This outburst is tied to Earth's passage through a particularly dense debris trail left by the comet 55P Tempel-Tuttle during its 1932 pass around the Sun. In 1969, Earth passed through this same region with rather spectacular -- though brief -- results (with viewers seeing 2-4 meteors per minute over a 30-minute period). This year's passage probably won't produce quite the same intensity as it did in 1969. Even still, astronomers are predicting anywhere from 100 to 600 meteors per hour. (The predictions vary depending on when Earth actually passes through the trail: earlier, fewer meteors -- later, more meteors.)
Even at 100 meteors per hour, the Leonids won't be as spectacular as other showers. Traditionally, the meteors that make up this shower are much smaller and therefore fainter when they hit Earth's atmosphere and burn up. In addition, these are usually fast-moving meteors, so you have to look quick for those faint streaks.
As a result, it is especially important to observe the Leonid shower from dark skies. For a change, you don't have to worry about the Moon during this shower. Its thin, waning crescent shape doesn't rise until just before sunrise on the 18th and 19th, so it won't interfere and drowned out any meteors.
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