Oct 16/17 Meteors

Rates were down from the previous night. Bob detected a decrease in Sporadics while I saw a decrease in  Orionids. We’ll see how things go tonight.

We are still ~5 or 6 days from maximum so the best of the Orionids is yet to come. According to the IMO’s Live ZHR graph, the Orionids are now producing ~10 meteors per hour for visual observers under dark skies during the last few hours of the night. We can expect that rate to climb to a max of anywhere from 30 to 70 per hour.

From Bob: “For some odd reason the sporadic rates were down nearly 50% from yesterday. It was clear all night long so it was most likely just a quirk and rates should recover tomorrow.”

TUS 2009-10-17 11h 01m  55  28  5   2   16  1   1   2           
SDG 2009-10-17 10h 51m  84  34  -   15  31  3   0   1

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)
NTA/STA – Northern and Southern Taurids (includes Antihelions)
ORI – Orionids
ZTA – Zeta Taurids
OCU – October Ursa Majorids
SSA – Sigma Arietids


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

8 Responses to Oct 16/17 Meteors

  1. soph says:

    Hello just last night I saw a shooting star. Im here in LA. and I was curious if anyone else saw any shooting stars. I would like to know will there be more showers tonight october 17th 2009? and what time if you know?


  2. Bob Lunsford says:

    Meteors can be seen regardless of whether there is a shower active or not. Of course you can see more if a major shower happens to be active. Right now the Orionids, a major annual shower, is active during the morning hours. This weekend and all of next week will offer enhanced meteor rates during the morning hours. A few may be seen during the evening hours but the constellation of Orion is not well placed until after midnight.

  3. Priscilla Cushman says:

    What did we just see!!! Two lights in the sky over France at 19:15 GMT with additional double rings (30 degrees away). Moved at the speed of planes – leisurely crossed the entire sky – about the effective size of the moon only fuzzy (not dim) and somewhat pointed in the direction of motion.

    please comment here or send email

    • Charmed says:

      We saw the exactly same thing only at 21:15 GTM in the sky over Croatia!

    • Carl Hergenrother says:

      Hi Priscilla,

      Interesting observations! After a bit of hunting around, it appears you saw a fuel dump from a recent satellite launch. At 16:12 GMT an Atlas V rocket was launched from Vandenberg AF base in California carrying the DMSP F18 weather satellite. According to a post on the Seesat-L satellite watcher’s list, a fuel dump from the Centaur upper stage used to kick the satellite into its final orbit was observed over Europe at the same time you were observing.

      Here’s a good description from an observer in Germany.

      Thanks for writing.
      – Carl

  4. Charmed says:

    On the North-Western part of sky

  5. Charmed says:

    I’ve never seen a satellite launch before, but this was awesome thing to see!

  6. Spyros PLoumakis says:

    hi guys, i’ve seen on 16/10/09 a falling meteorite ( i don’t know if it was part of a satelite or something like that) at 22.20-22.30… It was far from our location (central greece, i thought it could be landed in north evoia or in aegean) but i saw the light fade out before it reached the ground and i’m not so good in calculate distances. Propably it’s related with what bob or carl said before.. i heard nothing on tv so i searched in internet if someone else saw this.

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