Nov 17/18 to 24/25 Meteors

We are now entering a transition period as we leave behind November’s showers (such as the Leonids and Taurids) and look forward to December’s offerings (Geminids and Sigma Hydrids). The nights tabulated below mark the 61st consecutive night with a video meteor detection. Actually the 62nd night already happened but will be summarized in the next post. I though the night of the 23rd/24th was going to break the streak but the cirrus thinned enough to let a few meteors through. Oddly, the next night was worse even though it appeared better at first glance.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO NTA STA LEO AND NOO OER AMO
SAL3 2010-11-25   02h 09m   5   3   2   0   0   0   0   -   0
SAL3 2010-11-24   02h 58m   6   5   0   1   0   0   0   -   0
SAL3 2010-11-23   11h 49m   14  11  1   0   2   0   0   -   0
SAL3 2010-11-22   07h 09m   17  11  3   2   0   0   1   -   0
SAL3 2010-11-21   03h 46m   12  5   0   2   3   1   1   0   1
SAL3 2010-11-20   04h 55m   17  8   1   0   6   0   0   1   1
ALLS 2010-11-20   12h 21m   15  8   1   0   6   0   0   0   0
SAL3 2010-11-19   11h 51m   38  21  3   2   10  1   0   0   1
ALLS 2010-11-19   12h 21m   28  14  1   0   11  0   1   0   1
SAL3 2010-11-18   11h 50m   30  16  4   2   7   0   1   2   0
ALLS 2010-11-18   12h 19m   33  14  1   0   17  0   1   0   0

SAL3 - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
ALLS - Near all-sky camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIST - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
SDG - Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
Time - Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors
TOT - Total number of meteors detected
SPO - Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT - Antihelions  
NTA - Northern Taurids
STA - Southern Taurids 
LEO - Leonids
AND - Andromedids
NOO - November Orionids
OER - Omicron Eridanids
AMO - Alpha Monocerotids

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 27-December 3, 2010

The Meteor Activity Outlook is a weekly summary of expected meteor activity written by Robert Lunsford, Operations Manager of the American Meteor Society and contributor to this blog. The original unedited version of this week’s Meteor Activity Outlook can be found at the American Meteor Society’s site.

No matter where you live, the first half of December provides some of the best meteor activity of the year. In the northern hemisphere the sporadic rates are still strong plus you can also count on strong activity from the Geminids, which peak on December 14. There are also several minor radiants that add a few meteors each hour. All of these centers of activity are located high in the sky during the early morning hours this time of year. Much of the activity mentioned above can also be seen from the southern hemisphere. While the sporadic rates are not as strong as those seen from the north, they are stronger than the previous months and heading for a maximum in January. The warm, but short summer nights south of the equator make for some great viewing as long as the moon does not interfere.

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Saturday November 27th. At this time the moon lies ninety degrees west of the sun and rises near midnight LST (Local Standard Time). Thus morning observers will have moonlight to contend with this weekend. Successful observations can still be undertaken as long as the moon is kept out of your field of view. The light of the last quarter moon is much less intense than that of a full moon and many meteors can still be seen, especially under transparent skies. As the week progresses the waning crescent moon becomes less of a problem as it grows dimmer and rises later and later during the early morning hours. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is ~5 from the northern hemisphere and ~3 for observers south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be ~15 from the northern hemisphere and ~13 as seen from the southern hemisphere. The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity. Morning rates are reduced due to moonlight.

The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning November 27/28. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period.

The following showers are expected to be active this week:

December Phoenicids (PHO)

The December Phoenicids (PHO) are a periodic shower that rarely produces noticeable activity. The only impressive display produced by this shower occurred in 1956 when ZHR’s were near 100. Peak activity occurs on December 6. Little activity is expected away from the peak night. The radiant is currently located at 00:50 (012) -52. This position lies in central Phoenix some ten degrees southeast of the second magnitude star Ankaa (Alpha Phoenicis). These meteors are best seen near 2100 (9pm) LST, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Due to the southerly declination of the radiant, this shower is not visible north of the northern tropical areas. The deep southern hemisphere has the best chance of seeing any activity. At 22 km/sec. the Phoenicids produce very slow meteors.

Andromedids (AND)

Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel’s studies of video radiants has revealed that activity from the famous Andromedid shower, noted for intense storms during the 19th century, may still be seen throughout November. The current
position of the large radiant is 01:44 (026) +45. This position lies in eastern Andromeda, three degrees south of the fourth magnitude star 51 Andromedae. Visual activity is expected to be low, but detectable. An inconspicuous maximum occurs on November 12. The Andromedid meteors are best seen near 2200 (10pm) LST (Local Standard Time) when the radiant lies on the meridian. At 19km/sec., the average Andromedid will appear as a very slow moving meteor. Sirko mentions that these meteors are “conspicuously slow and of almost constant activity” during this period.

Northern Taurids (NTA)

The center of the large Northern Taurid (NTA) radiant lies at 04:49 (072) +25. This area of the sky is located in central Taurus, eight degrees north of the orange first magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri). These meteors are best seen near 0100 LST, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. This shower peaked on November 13, so rates are falling should be ~2 per hour. Meteors from the Northern Taurids strike the atmosphere at 29km/sec., which would produce meteors of slow velocity. This shower is also responsible for many of the fireball reports seen in November.

November Orionids (NOO)

The November Orionids (NOO) were recently discovered by analyzing video data. For years it was lost in the maze of radiants active this time of year. Due to the low activity, visual observers were unable to detect this shower. This shower is active from November 18 through December 9. Maximum activity occurs on November 30. Once you know the radiant in advance, this shower is actually quite noticeable, producing an average of 2 shower members per hour near maximum. The radiant is currently located at 05:58 (090) +15. This position lies in northeastern Orion, seven degrees north of the orange first magnitude star Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis). These meteors are best seen near 0200 LST when the radiant lies on the meridian and highest above the horizon. At 44 km/sec. the November Orionids produce mostly medium velocity meteors.

Puppid-Velids (PUP)

The Puppid-Velids (PUP) are a vast complex of weak radiants located in the constellations of Puppis and Vela. Visual plots and photographic studies have revealed many radiants in this area during November and December. The combined strength of these radiants can produce a ZHR of 10. Actual hourly rates will be much less unless you happen to be observing from the deep Southern Hemisphere. The center of this activity is currently located at 07:52 (118) -45. This position lies in eastern Puppis, four degrees northwest of the second magnitude star Gamma Velorum. Peak rates occur near December 7. These meteors are best seen near 0300 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Observers located in the Southern Hemisphere have an advantage viewing this shower as the radiant will rise higher into their sky allowing more activity to be seen. At 40 km/sec. the Puppid-Velids produce meteors of average velocity.

Psi Ursa Majorids (PSU)

Another shower verified by video means are the Psi Ursa Majorids (PSU). This shower is active from November 29-December 13 with maximum activity occurring on December 5. The radiant is currently located at 10:38 (159) +45. This position lies in southwestern Ursa Major, five degrees west of the third magnitude star Kappa Ursae Majoris. This area of the sky is best placed during the last hour before dawn, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Current rates would most likely be less than one per hour. At 61km/sec., the average Psi Ursa Majorid meteor would be swift.

Leonids (LEO)

This week is your last chance to see the Leonids (LEO) for 2010. This shower peaked on the Thursday morning November 18 and current rates are well below 1 per hour no matter your location. The radiant is located at 10:41 (160) +19. This position lies in central Leo, four degrees east of the second magnitude star Algeiba (Gamma Leonis). The area of the sky does not clear the eastern horizon until the late evening hours so no Leonid activity can be seen during the early evening hours. These meteors are best seen during the last hour before the onset of morning twilight, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. At 71km/sec., the average Leonid is swift with a high percentage of trains.

December Kappa Draconids (KDR)

Another shower verified by video means are the December Kappa Draconids (KDR). This shower is active from November 30-December 6 with maximum activity occurring on December 3. Activity from this source is not expected this weekend. On the night of maximum the radiant will be located at 12:22 (185) +72. This position lies in extreme western Draco, two degrees northwest of the faint star Kappa Draconis. While the radiant lies above the horizon all night for most of the northern hemisphere, it is best placed during the last hour before dawn, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Current rates would most likely be less than one per hour. At 43km/sec., the average December Kappa Draconid meteor would be of medium velocity.

Shower Name                 RA     DEC   Vel     Rates
                                         km/s   NH    SH
PHO December Phoencids    00h 50m  -52    18    <1    <1
AND Andromedids           01h 44m  +45    19    <1    <1
NTA Northern Taurids      04h 49m  +25    29     2     2
NOO November Orionids     05h 58m  +15    44     2     2
PUP Puppid-Velids         07h 52m  -45    40    <1     2
PSU Psi Ursa Majorids     19h 38m  +45    61    <1    <1
LEO Leonids               10h 41m  +19    71    <1    <1
KDR Dec Kappa Draconids   12h 22m  +72    43    <1    <1

RA - Right Ascension
DEC - Declination
Vel - Velocity relative to Earth (in km per sec)
Rates - Rate of visible meteors per hour from a
        dark site
NH - Northern Hemisphere
SH - Southern Hemisphere

Recent Discoveries – Nov 7 to 18

The past week or so has seen the announcement of 57 new NEAs. The discovery tally breaks down as such: 27 Mount Lemmon, 13 Catalina, 11 LINEAR, 3 PANSTARRS, 2 Spacewatch, 1 Siding Spring.

A handful of the objects made very close approaches to Earth. The most interesting being 2010 WA. With an H of 30.0, this object is one of the smallest asteroids ever observed at a size of 2 to 6 meters across. It made it passed closest to Earth around 4 hours UT on November 17 at a distance of 0.00026 AU (or just over 24,000 miles or 38,000 km). That is only a tenth of the distance to the Moon. Such a small miss distance makes 2010 WA the 7th closest approach to the Earth by an asteroid (that we know of, there have probably been many many more little ones that passed sight unseen).

Asteroid   Type   Mag    MOID     a     e     i     H   Discoverer      MPEC
2010 WJ    Amor    18   0.469   1.86  0.30  27.7  17.9  LINEAR          2010-W12
2010 WH    Amor    19   0.445   2.39  0.47  21.9  18.9  LINEAR          2010-W11
2010 WC    Aten    18   0.004   0.81  0.35   7.6  25.3  Catalina        2010-W06
2010 WB    Apollo  16   0.005   1.35  0.29   5.5  23.8  Catalina        2010-W05
2010 WA    Apollo  20   0.0002  2.00  0.57   6.5  30.0  Mount Lemmon    2010-W03
2010 VU198 Amor    21   0.311   1.81  0.38  30.6  18.4  Mount Lemmon    2010-W08
2010 VW194 Apollo  17   0.001   1.79  0.46   2.0  26.3  LINEAR          2010-W04
2010 VY190 Amor    17   0.298   1.77  0.28  20.5  18.6  Mount Lemmon    2010-V148
2010 VC140 Apollo  18   0.002   1.50  0.34   1.5  27.8  Catalina        2010-V147
2010 VB140 Apollo  20   0.004   2.29  0.58   3.2  24.9  Catalina        2010-V146
2010 VA140 Apollo  20   0.002   1.70  0.47   4.6  26.4  Mount Lemmon    2010-V145
2010 VZ139 Amor    18   0.058   1.13  0.07   8.9  23.0  Catalina        2010-V144
2010 VY139 Amor    19   0.088   2.42  0.56   9.4  20.4  LINEAR          2010-V143
2010 VX139 Aten    19   0.095   0.96  0.16  21.3  20.4  LINEAR          2010-V142
2010 VW139 Amor    19   0.061   1.62  0.37  10.4  24.2  Mount Lemmon    2010-V141
2010 VV139 Apollo  19   0.064   1.17  0.16  31.5  21.8  Mount Lemmon    2010-V140
2010 VR139 Apollo  19   0.002   1.70  0.46   2.1  26.8  Catalina        2010-V138
2010 VQ139 Apollo  21   0.001   1.99  0.55   1.4  29.2  Mount Lemmon    2010-V137
2010 VP139 Apollo  20   0.0008  1.12  0.21   1.7  29.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V136
2010 VO139 Apollo  20   0.008   2.08  0.70   7.7  26.5  Mount Lemmon    2010-V135
2010 VN139 Apollo  19   0.026   1.87  0.74   1.5  24.4  Mount Lemmon    2010-V134
2010 VM139 Apollo  20   0.012   1.42  0.29   9.6  25.4  Mount Lemmon    2010-V133
2010 VL139 Apollo  21   0.006   1.86  0.51   3.6  26.8  Mount Lemmon    2010-V132
2010 VK139 Aten    16   0.008   0.78  0.29  27.9  23.4  Catalina        2010-V131
2010 VJ139 Apollo  21   0.065   1.35  0.37   8.9  22.0  Mount Lemmon    2010-V130
2010 VF139 Amor    20   0.125   2.51  0.56   1.6  23.9  Mount Lemmon    2010-V128
2010 VE139 Amor    20   0.224   2.42  0.50   6.8  22.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V127
2010 VD139 Aten    20   0.013   0.85  0.24   3.8  26.0  Mount Lemmon    2010-V126
2010 VD99  Apollo  20   0.045   1.84  0.52   8.0  24.5  Spacewatch      2010-V125
2010 VB99  Apollo  18   0.053   1.34  0.40  49.9  21.3  LINEAR          2010-V122
2010 VA99  Apollo  18   0.042   1.44  0.40  37.2  22.7  LINEAR          2010-V121
2010 VW98  Amor    19   0.123   1.60  0.33  12.1  22.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V119
2010 VV98  Apollo  18   0.002   1.98  0.58   1.6  24.5  LINEAR          2010-V118
2010 VU98  Apollo  20   0.029   1.01  0.26   6.9  24.7  Mount Lemmon    2010-V117
2010 VQ98  Apollo  19   0.002   1.04  0.05   1.7  27.9  Catalina        2010-V114
2010 VP98  Apollo  20   0.119   1.34  0.29  22.7  24.5  Mount Lemmon    2010-V113
2010 VO98  Apollo  20   0.028   1.45  0.45   7.8  25.3  Mount Lemmon    2010-V112
2010 VN98  Amor    19   0.116   1.53  0.29  27.1  22.0  LINEAR          2010-V111
2010 VA76  Amor    21   0.124   2.14  0.49   3.9  26.9  PANSTARRS       2010-V103
2010 VZ75  Amor    22   0.175   1.52  0.24  11.5  25.5  PANSTARRS       2010-V102
2010 VW75  Amor    21   0.050   2.34  0.55   1.0  21.7  Mount Lemmon    2010-V101
2010 VD72  Aten    17   0.015   0.92  0.18  19.2  21.8  Catalina        2010-V100
2010 VC72  Apollo  22   0.016   1.16  0.14   5.9  23.6  PANSTARRS       2010-V99
2010 VB72  Amor    19   0.124   1.22  0.09  16.3  20.6  Catalina        2010-V98
2010 VA72  Apollo  20   0.058   2.55  0.60   3.5  23.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V97
2010 VZ71  Apollo  20   0.297   3.24  0.69  23.9  19.2  Mount Lemmon    2010-V96
2010 VY71  Amor    19   0.071   2.55  0.58   3.0  24.1  Catalina        2010-V95
2010 VS71  Apollo  18   0.015   1.43  0.66   2.3  23.8  Catalina        2010-V93
2010 VN65  Apollo  19   0.227   1.63  0.41  23.9  20.1  Spacewatch      2010-V92
2010 VM65  Apollo  18   0.055   1.06  0.03  24.8  23.5  Catalina        2010-V91
2010 VL65  Apollo  19   0.007   1.07  0.14   4.7  28.4  LINEAR          2010-V86
2010 VC40  Amor    21   0.179   2.51  0.54   6.6  24.0  Mount Lemmon    2010-V83
2010 VB40  Amor    20   0.075   2.78  0.62   3.4  24.7  Mount Lemmon    2010-V82
2010 VA40  Apollo  20   0.036   2.40  0.57   2.0  26.3  Mount Lemmon    2010-V81
2010 VX39  Apollo  19   0.065   1.84  0.43  11.4  19.1  LINEAR          2010-V78
2010 SC41  Apollo  21   0.001   1.86  0.61   0.2  19.5  Mount Lemmon    2010-V90
2010 RF181 Apollo  19   0.121   2.21  0.55   6.3  20.7  Siding Spring   2010-W13
Comet       Type       T        q     a     e      i  Mag  Period        MPEC 
None

Type
Aten -  Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) < 1 AU
Apollo - Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) > 1 AU
Amor - non-Earth crossing with perihelion distance < 1.3 AU
JFC - Jupiter family comet
HFC - Halley family comet
LPC - Long-period comet
MBC - Main belt comet
ECC - Suspected extinct or dormant (or just unrecognized) comet
T - Date of Perihelion
MOID - Minimum Orbit Intercept Distance, minimum distance between asteroid and Earth's orbit
a - semi-major axis, average distance from Sun in AU (1 AU = 93 million miles)
e - eccentricity
i - inclination
H - absolute magnitude
Mag - magnitude at discovery
Discoverer - survey or person who discovered the object
MPEC - Minor Planet Electronic Circular, the discovery announcement

Nov 11/12 to 16/17 Meteors

The maximum for this year’s Leonids shower should have taken place late this morning a few hours after sunrise here in AZ. So based on last night’s results I have only one word to describe the Leonids maximum, at least video-wise, and that word is ‘yawn!’. When the SALSA3 camera picked up 8 Leonids back on the night of Nov 11/12 I got real excited about a good display for this year. As it turned out, none of the subsequent nights really did much better. Still except during dust trail crossing years, the Leonids only produce 10-20 meteors per hour. That’s 10-20 per hour if you live under very dark skies. For most of us living in light polluted areas, rates are more like 3-8 per hour. So to be honest, I never really understand why every year there are news stories (for instance, the Leonids are on the front page of Yahoo News right now) telling the public to see what is really just a good minor shower most years. It would be much better to wait a month for a real high rate shower like December’s Geminids.

Last night marked the 53rd consecutive night with a meteor detection by the SALSA3 camera. The current forecast calls for the slight possibility of rain this weekend so we’ll see if the streak can live on.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO NTA STA ORI LEO AND NOO OER AMO
SAL3 2010-11-17   11h 49m   28  15  2   2   -   7   0   0   2   0
ALLS 2010-11-17   12h 18m   22  11  1   1   -   7   0   1   1   0
SAL3 2010-11-16   11h 22m   31  13  6   3   -   5   0   1   2   1
ALLS 2010-11-16   11h 36m   21  8   1   2   -   9   0   1   0   0
SAL3 2010-11-15   06h 41m   19  8   4   2   -   4   0   1   0   0
ALLS 2010-11-15   12h 00m   13  9   0   0   0   3   0   0   1   0
SAL3 2010-11-14   11h 45m   16  11  1   1   2   0   1   0   0   -
ALLS 2010-11-14   10h 07m   5   3   1   0   1   0   0   0   0   -
SAL3 2010-11-13   12h 13m   26  18  4   1   1   1   1   0   -   -
ALLS 2010-11-13   12h 13m   16  12  3   0   0   1   0   0   -   -
SAL3 2010-11-12   11h 21m   36  16  9   1   2   8   0   0   -   -
ALLS 2010-11-12   11h 36m   28  20  3   1   1   3   0   0   -   -

SAL3 - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
ALLS - Near all-sky camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIST - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
SDG - Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
Time - Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors
TOT - Total number of meteors detected
SPO - Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT - Antihelions  
NTA - Northern Taurids
STA - Southern Taurids 
ORI - Orionids
LEO - Leonids
AND - Andromedids

Recent Discoveries – Nov 2 to 6

Between Nov 2 and 6 a total of 36 new NEAs have been announced. I say announced rather than discovered because objects may spend anywhere from hours to a few days listed on the Near Earth Object Confirmation Page (NEOCP) before they are officially designated and their orbits published.

The most interesting of the batch are 2 low delta-V objects, 2010 UE51 and 2010 VT21. Delta-V is the change in velocity (read energy used) to leave Earth and match the object’s orbit. The lower the required energy the smaller the launch vehicle needed (or the larger the payload that can be sent) to visit the asteroid. Orbit-wise both objects would be excellent candidates for  a manned or unmanned mission BUT… and there is always a but, both are probably too small. The problem with being too small is that small objects are faint and both objects will probably be lost as they move away from Earth. In fact, 2010 VT21 has not been seen since the day of discovery and is already too faint for most follow-up scopes. Not to mention its current positional uncertainty on the sky already precludes anybody finding it again without a lot of searching. Luckily 2010 UE51 stays bright for a few months this apparition and has been well observed. Still once it fades it will remain to faint for Earth-based observers for the next few decades.

Two new comets were also announced during this time period, C/2010 U3 (Boattini) and C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami). C/2010 U3 (Boattini) is located at a very distant 18 AU from the Sun (for reference the planet Uranus is located at an average distance of 19.2 AU from the Sun) at a faint 19th magnitude. The current published orbit has perihelion occurring in nearly 9 years on 2019 April 25 at 8.35 AU (just inside Saturn’s orbit). This is assuming the comet is on a parabolic long-period orbit. It is possible that the comet is on a lower eccentricity Centaur or Scattered Disk Object orbit. If this is the case perihelion may not occur till the early 2020’s.

The other comet is a rare (at least nowadays) visual find. I went into more detail on Ikeya-Murakami in a previous post. There is no doubt that this comet experienced a recent outburst in brightness. Based on a number of non-detections, the outburst occurred within a few days of discovery. Its current orbit places it on a parabolic long-period orbit with perihelion at 1.77 AU on Oct 26. A short-period orbit can not be ruled out and may be more likely.

Asteroid   Type   Mag    MOID     a     e     i     H   Discoverer      MPEC
2010 VV21  Amor    20   0.068   2.19  0.52   3.3  22.6  Mount Lemmon    2010-V71
2010 VU21  Apollo  20   0.018   1.69  0.62   5.9  24.6  Mount Lemmon    2010-V70
2010 VT21  Apollo  20   0.027   1.07  0.08   7.2  27.3  Mount Lemmon    2010-V69
2010 VS21  Amor    20   0.101   1.76  0.38   5.3  23.9  Spacewatch      2010-V68
2010 VR21  Apollo  20   0.002   2.34  0.65   0.9  29.0  Mount Lemmon    2010-V67
2010 VQ21  Amor    19   0.102   3.02  0.64   4.8  22.2  Catalina        2010-V66
2010 VP21  Aten    19   0.024   0.72  0.54   8.7  23.4  Mount Lemmon    2010-V65
2010 VO21  Apollo  19   0.006   1.33  0.27   2.0  28.6  LINEAR          2010-V64
2010 VA12  Apollo  19   0.053   1.31  0.85  39.1  19.4  Catalina        2010-V57
2010 VZ11  Apollo  16   0.005   1.11  0.16   4.3  25.3  LINEAR          2010-V55
2010 VU11  Amor    22   0.155   1.53  0.25  16.2  24.8  PANSTARRS       2010-V54
2010 VT11  Apollo  19   0.012   1.77  0.61   2.5  21.3  LINEAR          2010-V53
2010 VO1   Apollo  19   0.020   1.38  0.27  10.0  25.6  Catalina        2010-V50
2010 VN1   Apollo  18   0.0008  1.56  0.45   2.6  28.0  La Sagra        2010-V49
2010 VM1   Amor    22   0.165   2.16  0.47   6.0  20.7  PANSTARRS       2010-V48
2010 VL1   Amor    19   0.322   2.84  0.56  10.5  20.4  Catalina        2010-V45
2010 VJ1   Apollo  20   0.081   1.45  0.36  20.1  24.2  Mount Lemmon    2010-V44
2010 VH1   Apollo  20   0.084   1.17  0.23  37.9  21.3  Mount Lemmon    2010-V43
2010 VG1   Apollo  20   0.078   2.23  0.65  14.7  20.1  Spacewatch      2010-V42
2010 VF1   Apollo  21   0.216   1.22  0.63  20.2  20.7  PANSTARRS       2010-V41
2010 VE1   Amor    21   0.307   2.02  0.37   7.3  19.9  PANSTARRS       2010-V40
2010 VD1   Apollo  21   0.053   2.05  0.53   5.9  22.0  Mount Lemmon    2010-V39
2010 VC1   Apollo  19   0.335   1.16  0.56  21.1  19.3  Catalina        2010-V38
2010 VB1   Apollo  22   0.0006  1.13  0.27   2.6  23.3  Mount Lemmon    2010-V37
2010 VA1   Amor    19   0.093   1.35  0.23  11.7  19.9  Mount Lemmon    2010-V36
2010 VZ    Apollo  20   0.038   2.17  0.54   7.8  19.4  Mount Lemmon    2010-V34
2010 VY    Apollo  20   0.036   2.39  0.62   5.2  24.8  Mount Lemmon    2010-V31
2010 VX    Apollo  21   0.105   1.53  0.36  10.9  23.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V30
2010 VU    Apollo  21   0.035   1.47  0.35   2.8  25.0  PANSTARRS       2010-V29
2010 VR    Apollo  19   0.045   1.32  0.30  21.3  24.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V27
2010 VQ    Aten    20   0.001   0.86  0.20   0.4  27.5  Mount Lemmon    2010-V26
2010 VP    Apollo  22   0.027   2.03  0.61   5.3  24.1  PANSTARRS       2010-V25
2010 VO    Amor    21   0.115   1.34  0.19  10.0  24.3  PANSTARRS       2010-V24
2010 VM    Apollo  21   0.086   1.55  0.35  14.1  26.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V23
2010 VL    Apollo  21   0.046   1.05  0.41  15.6  25.2  Mount Lemmon    2010-V22
2010 UE51  Apollo  19   0.011   1.08  0.08   0.8  28.2  Catalina        2010-V32

Comet       Type       T        q     a     e      i  Mag  Period        MPEC 
C/2010 U3 (Boattini)
            LPC   2019 04 25   8.36        1.00  58.4  19                2010-V55
C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami)
            LPC?  2010 10 26   1.774       1.00   9.0   7                2010-V46

Type
Aten -  Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) < 1 AU
Apollo - Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) > 1 AU
Amor - non-Earth crossing with perihelion distance < 1.3 AU
JFC - Jupiter family comet
HFC - Halley family comet
LPC - Long-period comet
MBC - Main belt comet
ECC - Suspected extinct or dormant (or just unrecognized) comet
T - Date of Perihelion
MOID - Minimum Orbit Intercept Distance, minimum distance between asteroid and Earth's orbit
a - semi-major axis, average distance from Sun in AU (1 AU = 93 million miles)
e - eccentricity
i - inclination
H - absolute magnitude
Mag - magnitude at discovery
Discoverer - survey or person who discovered the object
MPEC - Minor Planet Electronic Circular, the discovery announcement

Nov 6/7 to 10/11 Meteors

We are currently in a time of overlap with a slowly declining Orionid shower and a slowly rising Leonid shower. The relative contributions to the nightly meteor totals between the 2 showers is still about equal. But since the Orionid radiant is up for a much longer period of time, the actual rates are very different with the Leonids outproducing the Orionids on a per hour basis.

The Taurids are near their annual maximum and are producing a steady shower of meteors. As for the remaining active shower, the Andromedids haven’t produced anything picked up by my cameras.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO NTA STA ORI LEO AND
SAL3 2010-11-11   11h 41m   37  21  3   3   4   6   0
ALLS 2010-11-11   11h 53m   18  11  0   0   5   2   0
SAL3 2010-11-10   11h 40m   18  12  3   2   1   0   0
ALLS 2010-11-10   12h 09m   11  9   1   1   0   0   0
SAL3 2010-11-09   02h 26m   7   3   3   1   0   0   0
ALLS 2010-11-09   01h 11m   6   4   1   0   1   0   0
SAL3 2010-11-08   11h 31m   34  22  5   3   2   2   0
ALLS 2010-11-08   11h 45m   14  9   0   0   2   3   0
SAL3 2010-11-07   07h 44m   31  19  3   4   3   2   0
ALLS 2010-11-07   12h 02m   14  10  1   0   0   3   0

SAL3 - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
ALLS - Near all-sky camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIST - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
SDG - Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
Time - Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors
TOT - Total number of meteors detected
SPO - Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT - Antihelions  
NTA - Northern Taurids
STA - Southern Taurids 
ORI - Orionids
LEO - Leonids
AND - Andromedids

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 6-12, 2010

The Meteor Activity Outlook is a weekly summary of expected meteor activity written by Robert Lunsford, Operations Manager of the American Meteor Society and contributor to this blog. The original unedited version of this week’s Meteor Activity Outlook can be found at the American Meteor Society’s site.

As seen from the northern hemisphere, meteor rates continue to be strong in November. While no major activity is expected this month, the two Taurid radiants plus the Leonids keep the skies active. The addition of strong sporadic rates make November one of the better months to view meteor activity from north of the equator. Skies are fairly quiet as seen from the southern hemisphere this month. Activity from the three showers mentioned above may be seen from south of the equator, but the sporadic rates are much lower than those seen in the northern hemisphere.

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Saturday November 6th. At this time the moon lies near the sun and cannot be seen at night. This will be the best time to view meteor activity this month. The Taurids will be producing many slow meteors all night long while the sporadic rates will also remain high. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near six from the northern hemisphere and four for observers south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near twenty four from the northern hemisphere and fourteen as seen from the southern hemisphere. The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity.

The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning November 6/7. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period.

The following showers are expected to be active this week:

Andromedids (AND)

Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel’s studies of video radiants has revealed that activity from the famous Andromedid shower, noted for intense storms during the 19th century, may still be seen throughout November. The current
position of the large radiant is 01:27 (022) +27. This position lies in a sparse area of northeastern Pisces. The nearest bright star is third magnitude Alpha Trianguli, which lies five degrees to the northeast. Visual activity is expected to be low, but detectable. An inconspicuous maximum occurs on November 12. The Andromedid meteors are best seen near 2200 (10pm) LST (Local Standard Time) when the radiant lies on the meridian. At 19km/sec., the average Andromedid will appear as a very slow moving meteor. Sirko mentions that these meteors are “conspicuously slow and of almost constant activity” during this period.

Northern Taurids (NTA)

The center of the large Northern Taurid (NTA) radiant lies at 03:38 (055) +22. This area of the sky is located in western Taurus, two degrees southwest of the famous naked eye open cluster known as the Pleiades. These meteors are best seen near 0100 LST, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. This shower peaks on November 13, so rates are slowly increasing. Current rates would be near three per hour, no matter your location. Meteors from the Northern Taurids strike the atmosphere at 29km/sec., which would produce meteors of slow velocity. This shower is also responsible for many of the fireball reports seen in November.

Southern Taurids (STA)

The center of the large Southern Taurid (STA) radiant lies at 03:42 (056) +14. This area of the sky is located in western Taurus, ten degrees south of the Pleiades. The radiant is also best placed near the meridian near 0100 LDT. We are now well past the October 10 maximum for this shower but rates will still remain near two per hour, no matter your location. Striking the atmosphere at 29 km/sec., the average Southern Taurid meteor travels slowly through the skies. This shower is also responsible for many of the fireball reports seen in October.

Orionids (ORI)

The Orionids (ORI) reached maximum activity on October 22nd. Some activity may still be seen during the morning hours from a radiant located at 07:14 (109) +16. This position lies in southern Gemini, close to the faint magnitude star Lambda Geminorum. The radiant is best placed on the meridian near 0400 LDT. Current rates should be near two per hour no matter your location. At 67km/sec., the average Orionid is swift.

Leonids (LEO)

The Leonids (LEO) are just now coming to life from a radiant located at 09:50 (148) +25. This position lies in western Leo only one degree north of the third magnitude star Epsilon Leonis. Maximum activity is still more than a week away so current rates would most likely be less than one per hour. At 71km/sec., the average Leonid is swift with a high percentage of trains. These meteors are best seen during the last hour before the onset of morning twilight, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky.

Shower Name                 RA     DEC   Vel     Rates
                                         km/s   NH    SH
AND Andromedids           01h 27m  +27    19    <1    <1
NTA Northern Taurids      03h 38m  +22    29     3     3
STA Southern Taurids      03h 42m  +14    29     2     2
ORI Orionids              07h 14m  +16    67     2     2
LEO Leonids               09h 50m  +25    71    <1    <1

RA - Right Ascension
DEC - Declination
Vel - Velocity relative to Earth (in km per sec)
Rates - Rate of visible meteors per hour from a
        dark site
NH - Northern Hemisphere
SH - Southern Hemisphere
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