Feb 17-24 Meteors

The non-winter of 2014 (at least for Tucson) continues. And even though most nights see some amount of cirrus, it is clear enough that meteors are detected almost every night. In fact 60 of the past 62 nights have seen at least one meteor detected by my video system.

Most of the recent February activity are Sporadic meteors not affiliated with any known meteor shower.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT NDL DSE BHE DLE
SAL  2014-02-24   07h 26m   7   6   1   0   -   -   0
SAL  2014-02-23   09h 35m   17  17  0   0   -   -   0
SAL  2014-02-22   08h 17m   18  16  1   0   -   -   1
SAL  2014-02-21   11h 37m   12  10  1   0   1   -   0
SAL  2014-02-20   11h 38m   19  17  1   0   1   -   0
SAL  2014-02-19   10h 21m   13  9   2   1   0   0   1
SAL  2014-02-18   11h 42m   18  14  2   1   1   0   0
SAL  2014-02-17   09h 00m   11  11  0   0   0   0   0

SAL - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIS - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
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
NDL - North Delta Leonids
DSE - Delta Serpentids
BHE - Beta Herculids
DLE - Delta Leonids

Meteor Activity Outlook for February 22-28, 2014

The Meteor Activity Outlook for the period 2014 February 15-21 has been posted by Bob Lunsford on the American Meteor Society website.

The Outlook has details on meteors from the Antihelion region and the following showers: Gamma Normids (GNO).

Feb 11-16 Meteors

February is usually a slow month for meteor watchers. Even though a surprisingly large number of meteor showers have been discovered in February over the past few years, all are minor and produce few meteors. With no major showers active and even the background rate of sporadic meteors (those showers not affiliated with any shower) near annual lows, February’s meteor rates are low. My observed numbers are even lower on most nights since this month has seen a large number of nights affected by high clouds.

My camera is set up to watch for four minor showers this week.

The North Delta Leonids (NDL) appear to be from a short-period comet with a perihelion of ~0.6 AU and inclination of ~5° resulting in a relatively slow velocity of ~20 km/s. It is possible that near-Earth asteroid 1999 RD32 is the parent of this family. RD32 is a large, dark object ~5 km in diameter and may be cometary in origin.

The Delta Serpentids (DSE) are from a longer period comet with a perihelion of ~1 au and inclination of ~130°. Comet C/1947 F2 (Becvar) is a possible source of these rapid (65 km/s) meteors.

The Beta Herculids (BHE) is a newly discovered shower discovered with data from the network that my camera is a part of. Orbits for the BHEs have not been determined yet though their velocity of ~57 km/s suggest a long-period comet origin. Even less is known about the Delta Leonids (DLE). With a velocity of 20 km/s these meteors are from a short-period comet or even a near-Earth asteroid.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT NDL DSE BHE DLE
SAL  2014-02-16   09h 53m   11  11  0   0   0   0   0
SAL  2014-02-15   11h 23m   22  18  0   1   1   1   1
SAL  2014-02-14   11h 43m   15  10  3   0   0   2   -
SAL  2014-02-13   11h 11m   11  5   1   1   4   0   -
SAL  2014-02-12   11h 52m   17  12  2   0   2   1   -
SAL  2014-02-11   11h 54m   10  9   1   0   -   -   -

SAL - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIS - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
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
NDL - North Delta Leonids
DSE - Delta Serpentids
BHE - Beta Herculids
DLE - Delta Leonids

Meteor Activity Outlook for February 15-21, 2014

The Meteor Activity Outlook for the period 2014 February 15-21 has been posted by Bob Lunsford on the American Meteor Society website.

The Outlook has details on meteors from the Antihelion region and the following showers: Alpha Centaurids (ACE), Beta Herculids (BHE) and the Delta Serpentids (DSE).

Beginning of February Meteors

If January was warm and clear in southern Arizona, February is turning out to be warmer but cloudier. Over the past ten nights, nearly ever one has been affected by clouds to some extent. Last night (Feb 9/10) was the clearest and as a result a large number of meteors were detected.

February is sort of a slow month for meteors. There are no major showers active and many of the minor showers are very minor. Still there has been some good activity lately and at least 3 showers were active this past week.

The Pi Hydrids (PIH) are from an unknown long-period comet with a perihelion of 0.89 AU and inclination of 162° and strike Earth’s upper atmosphere at ~71 km/s. This shower was first announced by Peter Jenniskens in his excellent 2006 book ‘Meteor Showers and Their Parent Bodies’.

The February Epsilon Virginids (FEV) are similar to the PIH in that they are the result of an unknown long-period comet. The FEVs are on an orbit with a perihelion of 0.49 AU and inclination of 138° resulting in a fast velocity of 63 km/s. This shower was only announced last year by Steakley and Jenniskens.

The Alpha Centaurids are a far southern shower that has been known for over 50 years. They also have high inclination orbits (107°). Perihelion is just inside the orbit of Earth at 0.98 AU and their velocity is ~59 km/s.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT ACB ACE FEV PIH
SAL  2014-02-10   11h 55m   27  24  3   -   -   -   0
SAL  2014-02-09   10h 48m   17  15  1   -   -   0   1
SAL  2014-02-08   11h 51m   13  8   4   -   -   0   1
SAL  2014-02-07   02h 57m   7   5   2   -   -   0   0
SAL  2014-02-06   10h 32m   12  10  0   -   0   0   2
SAL  2014-02-05   05h 20m   5   5   0   0   0   0   0
SAL  2014-02-04   10h 02m   19  15  2   0   0   2   -
SAL  2014-02-03   03h 48m   7   5   1   0   1   0   -
SAL  2014-02-02   07h 04m   11  8   1   0   1   1   -
SAL  2014-02-01   00h 00m      * * * CLOUDS * * *

SAL - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIS - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
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
ACB - Alpha Coronae Borealids
ACE - Alpha Centaurids
FEV - February Epsilon Virginids
PIH - Pi Hydrids

Meteor Activity for February 8-14, 2014

The Meteor Activity Outlook for the period 2014 January 18-24 has been posted by Bob Lunsford on the American Meteor Society website.

The Outlook has details on meteors from the Antihelion region and the following showers: daytime meteors from comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova (unnamed shower), Alpha Centaurids (ACE), and the Beta Herculids (BHE).

End of January Meteors

After a very dry and very clear January, the weather pattern has started to change over the western US. The result has been a lot more clouds though, unfortunately, little rain. Though Arizona is not experiencing the severe drought conditions affecting California this winter, we are in definite need of a few good rain soaking storms.

Over the last five nights of January, 2 were clear and 4 were affected by clouds to different extents. The night of Jan 30/31 saw only a single meteor shine between the clouds.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT NCC ECV JCO ACB ACE FEV
SAL  2014-01-31   00h 10m   1   0   1               0   0   0
SAL  2014 01-30   11h 23m   8   5   2               1   0   0
SAL  2014-01-29   12h 14m   24  19  1               0   1   0
SAL  2014-01-28   06h 06m   6   4   1   0           1   1
SAL  2014-01-27   04h 59m   7   5   2   0       0   0
SAL  2014-01-26   08h 42m   25  17  0   1   4   3

SAL - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIS - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
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
COM - Coma Berenicids
GUM - Gamma Ursae Minorids
NCC - Northern Delta Cancrids
XUM - January Xi Ursae Majorids
ECV - Eta Corvids
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