Feb 18/19 Meteors

Finally a nice clear night with no clouds and no bright Moon. Still with no major, or even good minor, showers active rates are still low.

From Bob’s notes: “Skies were clear all night long. Only 1 shower meteor was detected tonight, a bright magnitude -3 Antihelion.”

Obs  Date (UT)   TotTime TOT SPO ANT DLE
TUS  2009-02-19  10h 55m  14  13  1   0
SDG  2009-02-19  11h 02m  24  23  1   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
DLE Delta Leonids

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

4 Responses to Feb 18/19 Meteors

  1. J. Pettyjohn says:

    Just saw two small meteors in the western sky from East Tennessee. 10:48 pm.

  2. Victoria says:

    2/19/09 – 9:05pm – Houston, TX, 77077

    Please forgive my description, not sure how to word this correctly nor measure it correctly, but here is my best!

    Facing west, we noticed a bright white meteor in the sky overhead, crossing Orion’s Betelgeuse. The tail was very long and white fading to blue. I drew the size on paper, best to my visualization, and measured. If the meteor was 1cm, the white part of the tail was 15cm, and the blue tip 3 to 5 cm.

    About 20 degrees from the horizon, it flared and broke into 2 pieces and disappeared behind the trees.

    I am curious if this is a meteor, or debris from the Chinese satellite recently blown out of the sky, or debris from the Russian and USA satellite collision.

  3. Bob Lunsford says:

    Victoria,

    It is easy to tell them apart. Natural meteors enter the atmosphere at a tremendous velocity and rarely last more than 5 seconds. Most last less than 1 second. Rocket and satellite re-entries enter the atmosphere at a much slower speed and take from 30 seconds to a minute to completely disintegrate.

    You didn’t mention the duration of your event, but it sounds like a meteor.

    I hope this helps!

    Bob Lunsford
    San Diego, CA

  4. Victoria says:

    Bob-

    I would say it took about 10 seconds from when I noticed it slightly overhead, until it split and then was not visible due to trees in the neighbors yard. Long enough for me to notice it, point at it like a monkey while jumping up and down to get my daughters attention and say, “Look, a shooting star!” We all did the theatrical, “Ooooooooo!” and before it was out, she said, “Quick! Make a wish!” I went though ‘baby’ no, “puppy’, and decided on ‘happy” and then it disappeared behind the trees.

    I have seen the smaller ones, and they have been faint, and as you said, very fast. A quick blip, if you will. It is rare to see them here, with the weather and city lights, but last night was exceptionally clear.

    I have never seen anything so bright. Brighter than any star or planet that I have seen at anytime. What amazed me was that I had enough time to watch it travel, and really take it in and actually blink a few times without it disappearing.

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