Mar 17/18 to 19/20 Meteors

Last night was nearly a bust. Though my camera was able to see some stars all night long, the constant high cloud cover meant only the very brightest meteors could be seen. Hence, a grand total of 3 meteors were detected last night.

The previous 3 nights (Mar 16/17, 17/18, 18/19) saw a dozen or more meteors per night. Nearly half of these meteors appeared to radiate from the area around the constellation of Virgo. No specific radiant is apparent since the meteors seemed to be coming from a rather large area of Virgo.

Historically, a large number of meteor showers were believed to radiate from Virgo during the Spring months. These showers were quite often combined into a single shower called the Virginids. There is now some doubt whether the Virginids are an independent shower or just part of the Antihelion population of meteors that appear to radiate from the anti-solar point all year long. Since the anti-solar point is located in Virgo this time of the year, Antihelion meteors appear to radiate from Virgo.

Whether this recent excess of meteors from Virgo is due to the daily rain of Antihelion meteors, the Virginid meteor complex, or more specifically the Eta Viginids will remain to be seen. Hopefully analysis of my data as well as those obtained by other video systems answer this question.

Obs  Date (UT)   TotTime TOT SPO ANT GNO
TUS  2009-03-20  10h 08m  3   3   0   0
TUS  2009-03-19  10h 17m  16  14  2   0
SDG  2009-03-19  02h 00m  1   1   0   0
TUS  2009-03-18  10h 15m  12  9   3   0
SDG  2009-03-18  10h 00m  27  22  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
GNO – Gamma Normids

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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