August 2/3 Meteors

The clouds are back. Luckily they were light enough that many meteors could still be seen.

Rates are down compared to a few nights ago when my cameras were catching 50-60 meteors per night. The lower rates are due to 3 reasons. 1) The Southern Delta Aquariids and Alpha Capricornids are past their peak. 2) More clouds. 3) As a result of more clouds I changed the parameters on the MetRec detection program.

Usually I set up MetRec to flag any detection moving on 2 sequential images as a possible meteor. Though this does a great job of catching meteors it also catches noise patterns and clouds. If there are lots of fast moving clouds, the software can flag 1000s of them as possible meteors. Needless to say, this takes a lot of time to do through. So if I know that clouds will be around, I change MetRec to only  flag moving objects which occur on 3 consecutive images. That cuts down on the number of false detections by over ~90% but also cuts down on the number of real meteors by ~10-20%.

Obs Date (UT)  TotTime TOT SPO ANT CAP SDA PAU PER KCG
TUS 2009-08-03 06h 59m  29  13  0   0   4   2   9   0
SDG 2009-08-03 02h 02m  62  40  0   2   6       14  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
SPOSporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT – Antihelions
CAP – Alpha Capricornids
SDA – Southern Delta Aquariids
PAU – Piscids Australids
PER – Perseids
KCG – Kappa Cygnids


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

One Response to August 2/3 Meteors

  1. Shawn says:

    At around 2:00am August 3, 2009 my wife and I were driving home in a northern dirrection from the drive in and saw an object break through the atmosphere and become a giant fireball. The huge ball of fire turned into a glowing light which faded into the sky as it traveled in a north eastern direction in. The whole event took no longer then 3 maybe 4 seconds. Can you help me shed some light on this event.

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