Oct 1 – 9 Meteors

During the night of October 8 UT the Draconids produced an outburst of activity for observers on the eastern side of the Atlantic. Based on visual reports, the IMO’s live ZHR chart showed a peak ZHR of between 300 and 400 meteor per hour. The bright Moon and preponderance of faint Draconids meant the actual observed rates were much lower.

Here in AZ the show was over by the time night fell. In fact, not a single Draconid was seen by my camera system only hours after the outburst. Except for a single meteor observed the night before the outburst, this year’s Draconids were their usual meager self for me.

With the Draconids past us, we are now looking forward to the Orionids which should peak on the 21st. Already a few Orionids have been seen each night since the 4th.

Bright (-3mag) SPO on 2011 Oct 6 @ 06:17 UT.

NTA meteor on 2011 Oct 6 @ 10:56 UT.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO NTA STA ORI DAU OCA GIA EPC
TUS  2011-10-09   10h 46m   38  27  0   4   4   3   0   0   0
TUS  2011-10-08   09h 03m   28  18  3   5   1   0   0   1   0
TUS  2011-10-07   03h 01m   18  14  1   1   2   0   0   0   -
TUS  2011-10-06   06h 48m   20  14  2   0   2   1   1   -   -
TUS  2011-10-05   07h 10m   26  15  1   6   3   1   -   -   -
TUS  2011-10-04   02h 34m   8   7   0   0   1   0   -   -   -
TUS  2011-10-03   08h 18m   22  17  1   2   0   2   -   -   -

SAL3 - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
ALLS - Near all-sky camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIST - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VISH - Visual observations from Hermosillo (Salvador Aguirre)
HERM - PARENI camera in Hermosillo (Salvador Aguirre)
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
DAU - Delta Aurigids 
OCA - October Camelopardalids 
GIA - Draconids 
EPC - October Eta Piscids

Sep 18 – 31 Meteors

It has been a long time since I posted my nightly video meteor results. Part of the problem was our annual monsoon season here in Tucson. But the main problem was a series of mechanical and software issues that I just didn’t have the time to solve until a few weeks ago.

The 2011 monsoon was very similar to last years ‘nonsoon’. Though every night saw lots of clouds and rain threatened, little rain actually fell. That wouldn’t have been too much of a problem for my video set-up except for the fact that my ‘all-weather’ camera enclosure is no longer ‘all-weather’. So I decided to leave my camera off on those nights when it looked like it might rain. Since I was going to be down for weather reasons anyway I went ahead and upgraded to the latest version of the automatic meteor detection software, MetRec. That didn’t go so well and resulted in finally upgrading from an old PIII computer to a Pentium 4 machine. Now, knock on wood, everything seems to be working.

September is a month of high meteor rates. Sporadic meteors rates are near their annual peak. Though no major showers are active, a number of minor showers are consistent contributors to the high rates. Below are a collection of some of the best meteors from the last two weeks of September.

Long-lasting (~3.5+ sec) SPO seen on 2011 Sep 18 @ 05:47 UT.

Bright (~-2 mag) SPO on 2011 Sep 22 @ 06:58 UT.

Another SPO from 2011 Sep 23 (08:17 UT).

A third SPO from 2011 Sep 23 (10:00 UT).

Almost 2 sec in duration SPO on 2011 Sep 25 @ 06:07 UT.

Nu Eridanid fireball (~-4 to -5 mag) on 2011 Sep 26 @ 08:33 UT.

SPO racing north out of Auriga on 2011 Sep 26 @ 12:07 UT.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT NTA STA NUE SPE DAU
TUS  2011-09-31   10h 17m   37  25  -   2   7   -   -   3
TUS  2011-09-30   07h 34m   33  26  -   4   2   -   -   1
TUS  2011-09-29   09h 44m   36  29  -   2   3   -   -   2
SDG  2011-09-27   04h 21m   28  27  1   -   0   -   -   -
TUS  2011-09-25   05h 49m   25  22  1   -   -   2   -   0
TUS  2011-09-24   09h 29m   38  28  5   -   -   4   -   1
TUS  2011-09-23   09h 39m   35  32  1   -   -   1   -   1
TUS  2011-09-22   08h 25m   33  24  3   -   -   6   -   0
TUS  2011-09-21   08h 54m   30  25  0   -   -   1   -   4
TUS  2011-09-20   10h 06m   30  25  1   -   -   1   -   3
TUS  2011-09-19   09h 41m   25  20  3   -   -   1   1   -
TUS  2011-09-18   09h 38m   39  34  3   -   -   2   0   -

SAL3 - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
ALLS - Near all-sky camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIST - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VISH - Visual observations from Hermosillo (Salvador Aguirre)
HERM - PARENI camera in Hermosillo (Salvador Aguirre)
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 NUE - Nu Eridanids 
SPE - September Perseids 
DAU - Delta Aurigids

September 9/10 to 12/13 Meteors

It’s amazing how many sporadics are visible these nights. The only shower producing much activity is the poorly understood September Perseids complex. This complex consists of a handful of active radiants that may or may not be related to each other.  We really need orbital data on these meteors to sort them out.

Starting this month we will see the beginning of activity from the 2 Taurid streams and October’s big shower, the Orionids. Unfortunately, the Moon will hamper viewing the Orionids near the time of their peak but it should still be a good show for the meteor cameras.

The weather here in Tucson has seen lots of clouds lately as some moisture has worked itself back in (though of course, bringing little, if any, rain). Things should dry out again starting tomorrow and we’ll be back to our usual run of clear Fall nights here.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT SPE
SAL3 2010-09-13   02h 06m   6   5   0   1
SAL3 2010-09-12   06h 26m   29  26  3   0
ALLS 2010-09-12   10h 21m   9   5   1   3
SAL3 2010-09-11   09h 50m   42  35  4   3
ALLS 2010-09-11   06h 48m   9   6   1   2
SAL3 2010-09-10   09h 48m   32  25  6   1
ALLS 2010-09-10   10h 18m   14  11  0   3

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
AUR - Alpha Aurigids
SPE - September Perseids

September 3/4 to 8/9 Meteors

The past 2 nights were plagued with clouds though the previous 4 nights were clear. The monsoon moisture rolled back in the past few days. Even though parts of Tucson got dumped on, my house got its usual sprinkles and nothing more. It has dried out once again which means the clear nights should continue for the next few nights.

Last night was the peak of the September Perseids. This minor shower produced an unexpectedly high level of activity back in 2008. (Actually the event that kicked off this blog.) This year saw no increase in activity though 3 of 8 bright meteors picked up by the wide-field camera were September Perseids.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT AUR SPE
SAL3 2010-09-09   05h 30m   21  18  2   -   1
ALLS 2010-09-09   10h 10m   8   4   1   -   3
SAL3 2010-09-08   00h 12m   3   3   0   -   0
SAL3 2010-09-07   06h 29m   29  24  4   -   1
ALLS 2010-09-07   06h 49m   10  9   1   -   1
SAL3 2010-09-06   09h 39m   33  29  3   0   1
ALLS 2010-09-06   10h 09m   11  8   0   2   1
SAL3 2010-09-05   09h 38m   23  17  2   2   2
ALLS 2010-09-05   10h 05m   11  5   3   3   -
SAL3 2010-09-04   09h 31m   35  28  3   0   4
ALLS 2010-09-04   09h 48m   16  11  2   0   4

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
AUR - Alpha Aurigids
SPE - September Perseids

Sept 17/18/19 Meteors

Meteor rates are about half of what they were earlier in the week. This is probably due to random fluctuations in the Sporadic meteor rate.

We also have seen the end of activity from the September Perseids and the beginning of activity from the Delta Aurigids. Both showers overlap with each other even though they appear to be caused by different comets.

Obs Date (UT)   TotTime  TOT SPO ANT DAU
TUS 2009-09-19  07h 12m   22  18  3   1
TUS 2009-09-18  10h 05m   24  20  4   0

TUS – Camera in Tucson operated by Carl Hergenrother
SDG – Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
TotTime – 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
DAU – Delta Aurigids

Sept 9/10 to 14/15 Meteors

For most of the past week, clouds and a hazy sky has kept meteor rates low. This has all changed over the last 2 nights as the summer moisture has been shunted to the southeast. The now much more transparent sky is producing a large increase in the number of detectable meteors.

I’m not sure why last night produced 42 meteors. There seems to be no reason for the large numbers since they were mostly Sporadics and not associated with each other. They were also rather faint so perhaps the darker sky is just allowing my cameras to go deeper.

There has been some nice activity from near the September Perseid radiant. I’m not sure if these really are Sept Perseids. Sirko Molau’s recent analysis of video data taken by dozens of video cameras (including my own) suggests that the Perseus/Auriga region of the sky is riddled with minor showers during the month of September. His paper does not go into too much detail and he states that situation requires further work.

Obs Date (UT)   TotTime  TOT SPO ANT SPE
TUS 2009-09-15  09h 59m   42  35  2   5
TUS 2009-09-14  06h 11m   23  18  1   4
TUS 2009-09-13  04h 16m   10  7   0   3
TUS 2009-09-12  09h 36m   6   5   1   0
TUS 2009-09-11  08h 36m   13  12  0   1
TUS 2009-09-10  09h 48m   9   6   0   3

TUS – Camera in Tucson operated by Carl Hergenrother
SDG – Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
TotTime – 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
SPE – September Perseids

Sept 8/9 Meteors

In yesterday’s post I mentioned the possibility of activity from the September Perseids. Last year this minor shower put on a nice show and though there have been no studies that suggest a repeat this year (actually I’m not sure there were any studies conducted on the Sept Perseids) one never knows.

I have seen no reports of any enhanced activity from the September Perseids last night. Still, there were reports of quite a few bright meteors.

Here in Tucson the night started off with lots of thunderstorm activity. Most of the night was cloudy until the around 3 am when it cleared up enough to spot some meteors. Though clouds and a bright Moon really play havoc on meteor observing, they can make for some nice photos. Below are 2 bright meteors that were picked up by each of my meteor cameras. The first is a rather bright meteor, perhaps bright enough to be considered a fireball, that was seen behind the clouds. As you can tell from the bright mass of clouds in the right side of the image, the Moon was also in the field. It was seen at 3:38 am over Tucson.

20090909_1038

The second meteor was observed from my north facing camera so the Moon is out of view. By this time (5:05 am), the clouds were gone. Neither of these meteors or any of the other 8 I detected appear to be associated with the September Perseids or any other shower.

20090909_1205

Bright sporadic meteor over Tucson at 12:05 UT (5:05 am) on Sept 9, 2009.

Obs Date (UT)   TotTime  TOT SPO ANT AUR SPE
TUS 2009-09-09  02h 15m   10  10  0   0   0

TUS – Camera in Tucson operated by Carl Hergenrother
SDG – Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
TotTime – 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
AUR – Aurigids
SPE – September Perseids

Sept 7/8 Meteors and the September Perseids

Last night was nice and clear. The bright Moon is still a problem. This was especially true in my camera that points furthest south. The Moon was in the field of view for the last few hours of the night. The Moon is so bright that it washes out about half of the field. Still the 2 cameras were able to detect 17 meteors. Almost all of them appear to be sporadic and not associated with any particular shower.

Tonight marks the 1-year anniversary of  a surprise meteor outburst. Last year on the night of September 9 an outburst of bright meteors was observed radiating from the constellation of Perseus. The display lasted for about 4 hours and it produce some bright fireballs. There is still some uncertainty as to whether the outburst was caused by the September Perseid shower or the September Epsilon Perseid shower or even whether these two showers are really one and the same.

There is no guarantee that shower will experience enhanced activity tonight. In fact, it probably won’t. Still I’ll be looking forward to seeing what my cameras detect.

Obs Date (UT)   TotTime  TOT SPO ANT AUR SPE
TUS 2009-09-08  09h 45m   17  15  1   0   1
SDG 2009-09-08  04h 11m   5   4   1   0   0

TUS – Camera in Tucson operated by Carl Hergenrother
SDG – Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
TotTime – 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
AUR – Aurigids
SPE – September Perseids

In The Sky This Month – September 2009

This feature highlights a number of meteor showers, comets and asteroids which are visible during the month of September 2009. Jupiter continues its reign as not only king of the planets but king of the evening sky.

Note: If anyone has pictures or observations of these objects/events and want to share them, send me a comment and I’ll post them on the blog.

Planets

Jupiter -Jupiter continues to dominate the evening sky. Based on the comments left on this blog, many people have been noticing Jupiter in the southeast sky during the evening. At magnitude -2.8, Jupiter is ~13 times brighter than the brightest stars in the sky this month. Of all the planets, only Venus, and on very rare occasions Mars, are brighter.

Jupiter is already located high enough in the southest sky by the end of dusk for easy observation. Due to Jupiter’s location in the southern constellation of Capricornus , it never gets very high above the southern horizon this year.

Aug 2 – Nearly Full Moon passes within 3° of Jupiter and Neptune
Aug 29
– Moon within 3° of Jupiter

Sept_Jupiter

Chart of the sky during the middle of September showing the position of Jupiter. Chart created with Stellarium (www.stellarium.org).

Neptune – For those with a telescope or binoculars and a dark sky, Neptune is located within 1/2 to 3/4 degrees of Jupiter. Jupiter will be a bright magnitude -2.8 while Neptune will be a faint +7.8. That makes Jupiter over ~17,000 times brighter than Neptune. Even Jupiter’s 4 large Galilean moons are about a dozen times brighter than Neptune even though they are much smaller. The big reason for the faintness of Neptune is its distance from both the Earth and Sun. It is roughly 6 times further away from us and the Sun as Jupiter. The distance also explains its apparent small size of 2.3″. A good sized telescope will be required to see Neptune as anything other than a faint star.

Though Neptune wasn’t discovered until 1846, it was actually observed by Galileo on two occasions in 1612 and 1613. Similar to this month’s circumstances, Jupiter was passing very close to Neptune. Galileo observed and recorded Neptune as a star in the vicinity of Jupiter. There is also evidence that he noticed that Neptune had moved but didn’t follow up on it. So when you observe these 2 planets imagine what Galileo must have been thinking nearly 400 years ago.

Uranus – This month Uranus is at opposition which means it is at its closest to Earth and at its brightest. Uranus is located in western Pisces and is bright enough to be seen in small binoculars at magnitude +5.7 but will still require a telescope in order to see it as anything other than a star (it’s disk is only 3.5″ across).

Sept 17 - Uranus at opposition

Mars – Mars can be seen in the eastern sky during the 2nd half of the might. It rises around midnight though it won’t get high enough to clear most trees and building till about 1-2 am. At magnitude +0.9, its brightness matches those of many of the brightest stars visible in the morning sky. This month Mars marches through the constellation of Gemini. Mars will continue to brighten as it approaches its opposition on Jan 29 of next year.

Sept 13 – Moon within 1.1° of Mars

Sept_Venus

Chart of the sky on the morning of Sept 16. Chart created with Stellarium (www.stellarium.org).

Venus - Venus is the brightest “star” in the sky a hour or so before dawn. It was at its highest in the morning sky last month but now begins its slow crawl lower though it will remain an easy object for early risers  over the next 2-3 months. For binocular and telescope users, Venus will appear nearly full and is much smaller than it appeared this spring (now 12″ across versus 50″ last spring).

Sept 16 – Moon passes 3° from Venus
Sept 20
– Venus within 0.5° of the 1st mag star Regulus

Sept_VenusMoon

The Venus-Moon conjunction on the morning of Sept 16. Chart created with Stellarium (www.stellarium.org).

Mercury - For northern observers, Mercury is not visible until the last days of September when it can be seen as a 1st magnitude star rising in the east just before the Sun.

Sept 20 – Mercury at inferior conjunction (located between the Sun and Earth)

Saturn – Saturn is not visible this month as it is located on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth. As a result, it is located too close to the Sun in the sky to be easily observed. This is a shame because on September 4th, Saturn’s rings will be edge-on and would appear as a very thin line or even disappear in telescopes.

Sept 17 – Saturn at conjunction (located on the side of the Sun opposite Earth)

Meteors

September does not have many good showers though the background rate of meteors is near an annual high. The year is usually split in 2 with January through June having low rates with few major showers while July through December (really through the 1st week of January) have high rates with many major showers.

Sporadic Meteors

Sporadic meteors are not part of any known meteor shower. They represent the background flux of meteors. Except for the few days per year when a major shower is active, most meteors that are observed are Sporadics. This is especially true for meteors observed during the evening. During September, 12 or so Sporadic meteors can be observed per hour from a dark moonless sky.

Major Meteor Showers

None this month.

Minor Meteor Showers

Minor showers produce so few meteors that they are hard to notice above the background of regular meteors.

Aurigids (Max Date = Sept 1, Max ZHR = ~3 per hour)

The Aurigids are active from Aug 25 to Sept 8 with a peak on Sept 1. The shower is created by Comet Kiess, a comet only observed in 1911 though it should be back in ~70 years. The Aurigid shower is a minor one with a peak rate of 5 meteors per hour for observers under very dark skies.

This shower does have a history of producing short but spectacular outbursts. Reported outbursts in 1935, 1986 and 1994 allowed scientists to predict an outburst in 2007. The prediction was so good that the peak time was accurate to ~10 minutes. I was lucky enough to have observed this shower that only lasted for ~1 hour. At its maximum it produced a maximum ZHR of ~130 meteors per hour. Unfortunately no outbursts are predicted over the next 25 years, but you never know…

The shower appears to radiate from a position just to the east of the body of the constellation of Auriga. This shower is sometimes called the Alpha Aurigids.

September Perseids (Max Date = Sept 9, Max Rate = ~5 per hour)

The September Perseids are not related to the great Perseids of August. The showers were created by separate comets. This shower showed little sign of unusual activity until enhanced activity was observed on the night of Sept 9, 2008. That surprise display was also the topic of the very first Transient Sky post.

I have not seen any published research into last year’s high activity so its possible this years may see a repeat. Unfortunately, the moon will be bright and will drown out many fainter meteors.

Delta Aurigids (Max Date = Sept 28, Max Rate = ~3 per hour)

This weak shower appears the overlap the Sept Perseids and for some time they were considered part of the same shower. We now know that the showers come from different (though unknown) comets. The Delta Aurigids radiate from a point north of the body of Auriga and the bright star Capella.

Comets

Naked Eye Comets (V < 6.0)

None

Binocular Comets (V = 6.0 – 8.0)

None

Small Telescope Comets (V = 8.0 – 10.0)

Comet C/2006 W3 (Christensen)

This comet was discovered over 2 years ago on 2006 November 18 by Eric Christensen of the Catalina Sky Survey north of Tucson. At the time the comet was located at 8.7 AU from the Sun which is nearly the distance of Saturn. The comet continues to move closer to the Sun and Earth and is currently 3.8 AU from the Sun and 3.4 AU from the Earth.

The comet is currently around magnitude 8.2 and should be at its brightest this month.  It is moving southeast while paralleling the summer Milky Way. This month the comet will cross the constellation of Aquilia. The is well placed for evening observing.

The comet reached perihelion at a rather distant 3.12 AU from the Sun on 2009 July 6. Because of its large perihelion distance, the comet will only slowly move away from the Sun and though it will slowly fade from here on out it should remain bright enough to be seen in modest sized backyard telescopes for all of 2009.

A finder chart for Comet Christensen can be found at Comet Chasing and Aktuelle Kometen (in German).

A nice collection of images can be found at the VdS-Fachgruppe Kometen (Comet Section of Germany) and Seiichi Yoshida’s Comet Homepage.

22P/Kopff

All of the above comets are long-period comets which will not return to the inner Solar System for thousands to millions of years. Comet Kopff is a frequent visitor with an orbital period of 6.4 years. Discovered on 1906 August 20 by August Kopff of Germany, the comet has been observed during every subsequent return except one.

The comet reached perihelion at 1.58 AU from the Sun on May 25. Though now moving away from the Sun, the comet still moving closer to Earth and will be located 0.78 AU from us at the end of the month. Recent observations place the comet at magnitude 9.5  to 10.5. It is now slowly fading. The comet spends September in Aquarius.

A finder chart for Comet Kopff can be found at Comet Chasing.

A nice collection of images can be found at the VdS-Fachgruppe Kometen (Comet Section of Germany) and Seiichi Yoshida’s Comet Homepage.

Asteroids

Binocular and Small Telescope Asteroids (V < 9.5)

(3) Juno

Juno was the 3rd asteroid to be discovered after (1) Ceres and (2) Pallas. It was found by German astronomer Karl Harding on September 1, 1804. With dimensions of 320×267×200 km (192 x 160 x 120 miles) Juno ranks as the 10th largest asteroid in the Main Belt though it is the 2nd largest stony S-type asteroid.

This month it will be moving slowly eastward through Pisces. Peak brightness will come at opposition on Sept. 22 when Juno will be as bright as magnitude 7.6. A few degrees to the eats of Juno is another bright asteroid, (18) Melpomene which is described in its own section.

A finder chart (needs to be flipped upside down for Northern Hemisphere observers) can be found at the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand. Finder chart for Juno from Heavens Above.

(18) Melpomene

Just a few degrees to the east of (3) Juno lies another nice asteroid target for small telescopes. (18) Melpomene is also located in the constellation of Pisces and is only a little bit fainter than Juno, brightening from magnitude  8.7 to 8.0 in September.

Melpomene is another stoney S-type asteroid and similar to Iris was also discovered by John Russel Hind. Found in 1852, it is his 5th of 10 asteroid discoveries.

A finder chart (needs to be flipped upside down for Northern Hemisphere observers) can be found at the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand. Finder chart for Iris from Heavens Above.

Sept 18/19th Meteors

Observing conditions were fairly good last night, though some clouds moved through during the hours right before dawn.

Last night saw my first detection of a possible Delta Aurigid. I say possible because there is evidence that this shower should not even be active till next month. So what was this particular meteor? Data from decades of naked eye observers suggest that both the September Perseids and the Delta Aurigids are active, though at very low levels. Since both showers radiate from the same part of the sky, my camera cannot differentiate between them. To do that requires calculating the orbit of the meteor which needs observations from at least 2 cameras separated by 50-100 miles.

The other possibility is that the meteor is not related to either shower and is just a background Sporadic. Video data over the past few years suggest that neither shower should have been active last night. One of the reasons why a large number of amateurs and I are operating cameras every night is find answers to questions like these.

Date                     TotalTime      TOT    SPO     ANT     DAU

2008-09-19 UT     9h 34m        16      12        3         1

TOT – total # of meteors detected
SPO – Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT – Antihelions (meteors coming from the opposition region, opposite the direction of the Sun)
DAU – δ-Aurigids (Delta Aurigids)

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