The 1866 Leonids meteor shower
observed at Corfu, Creece
The 1866 Leonids meteor shower was recorded in a scrap piece of paper
by a priest in the island of Corfu in Northwestern Greece.
The priest was amazed by the phenomenon.
A century and a half later the piece of paper was found,
as a page marker in a Bible at a flee market in Athens.
A full account of the story has been published (in Greek) in the Journal
of the Astronomical Society of Corfu "OURANIA" 3, 2 (December 1999).
Please note that the date below refers to the Julian calendar. Greece
joined the Gregorian calendar in February 1923, when the date was advanced
by 13 days.
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The translation of the document:
"During the night of November 1/2, 1866, at 3 a.m., while the sky was
clear and cloudless, the stars started fighting, falling against each
other, leaving a trail behind them like a rope, in the direction from
East to West, continuously until six o'clock at dawn, when the
phenomenon ended. No one knows the cause of the phenomenon except the
Creator, to whom we owe infinite glory. Amen."