The Night The Stars Fell
Nov. 12-13, 1833
William Sevedge and his family were in the process of moving to Hempstead County, Arkansas and were camped on the St. Francis River on the "Night the Stars Fell." The "Great Leonid Meteor Shower" that occurred on November 12-13, 1833 was referred to as the night the stars fell from the sky which is exactly what eye witnesses, such as my great, great, great, great grandfather William Sevedge and his family probably thought was happening. The storm that year was very intense and lead to the first formulation of a theory on the origin of meteors.
"On the night of November 12-13, 1833, a tempest of falling stars broke over the Earth... The sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs. At Boston, the frequency of meteors was estimated to be about half that of flakes of snow in an average snowstorm. Their numbers....were quite beyond counting; but as it waned, a reckoning was attempted, from which it was computed, on the basis of that much-diminished rate, that 240,000 must have been visible during the nine hours they continued to fall." - Agnes Clerke's, Victorian Astronomy Writer
We had a lot of fun researching this event. I first found some great information and images at space.com. We also used a section in our article which came from a Nasa site about this history Leonids. We also looked up some videos taken of more recent Leonid showers to let Gess get a feel for what it might have looked like. We found this one on Youtube which was pretty good. Here is what the Leonid Shower of 2001 looked like.
Next we had Gess take this information and put in into an article format. Our Social Studies book had the template inside. I, of course, did the writing, but she helped to cut and glue it into place. We read it and talked about it as we put this together.
This then, gave Gess a sudden desire to watch Chicken Little. We haven't seen that movie in quite some time, but I think this story reminded her of his cry that the "sky was falling!" That shows me that she really grasped what was going on! In any event, we had fun, not only learning about the Great Leonid Meteor Shower of 1833, but realizing that our family was there to experience it!