Oct 14/15 and the Tau Ursa Majorids

The bright Full Moon was still no match for the 25 meteors detected last night.

During the previous night, I noted that a number of meteors were seen to originate from near the radiant of the Tau Ursa Majorids. Last night there is no doubt that 4 Tau Ursa Majorids (TUM) were spotted. The TUM is a shower which was recently identified by Sirko Molau in video data. The shower is visible from Oct 15 to Oct 22 with a peak around Oct 16. The shower is a minor one and visual observers would have a hard time recognizing it. A plot of last night’s 4 TUMs and their radiant is posted below. On this plot it appears that 5 meteors may be TUMs (I’m not sure why the software I use is only counted 4). The radiant derived from my data (where the lines cross) matches well with the predicted radiant (the circle with an X in the middle). The radiant is located in front of the bowl part of the Big Dipper.

Radiant plot for the Tau Ursa Majorids (Oct 15 UT)

Radiant plot for the Tau Ursa Majorids (Oct 15 UT)

Obs  Date (UT)   TotTime TOT SPO NTA STA ORI TUM EGE
Carl 2008-10-15  10h 58m  25  13  1   1   5   4   1
Bob  2008-10-15  10h 47m  44  30  2   3   5   2   2

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)
NTA – Northern Taurids
STA – Southern Taurids
ORI – Orionids
TUM – Tau Ursa Majorids
EGE – Epsilon Gemininds

About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

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