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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 106 other followers