Dec 2/3/4/5 Meteors

Every night seems to see at least one minor meteor show come and go. It’s been a little hard to keep up with them. Most of the showers are very minor, perhaps producing a meteor per hour at most. The majority of them have only been identified in the past few years in video and radar data.

The most important shower to become active over the past few nights is the Geminids. Though this shower is currently only producing a meteor or two per hour activity will pick up next week. By the time the shower peaks on the night of December 13/14 it will be producing between 100 and 150 meteors per hour for observers under dark skies.

It looks like the rains are finally coming to the southwest US. The forecast is for a series of storms to hit the area next week. Hopefully it will be clear for the Geminid peak. Speaking of rain, my zenith pointing camera is still out of commission due to condensation in its lens. I have ordered a new lens which will hopefully show up sometime this week.

Bob’ notes for the night of Dec 3/4 : “After two nights of clouds, the skies cleared enough for video observations. The bright gibbous moon and hazy conditions were not ideal. It was surprising that no northern Taurids were recorded tonight. Even though they are near the end of their activity period, the antihelion meteors included in the NTA count should have amounted to something.”

… for the night of Dec 4/5 : “Several layers of clouds moved in overnight greatly reducing the number of meteors recorded.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT NTA HYD NOO KDR PHO PSU PUP GEM DAD DLM
TUS  2009-12-05   11h 16m   15  6   0   -   3   2   0   0   1   1   2   -   0
SDG  2009-12-05   11h 49m   9   5   -   1   0   0   -   0   0   0   2   0   1
TUS  2009-12-04   12h 01m   19  9   1   -   4   2   0   0   1   1   2   -   -
SDG  2009-12-04   11h 53m   36  26  -   0   4   2   -   0   0   1   1   2   -
TUS  2009-12-03   12h 05m   10  6   0   -   3   1   0   0   0   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
NTA – Northern Taurids
HYD – Sigma Hydrids
NOO – November Orionids
KDR – Kappa Draconids
PHO – December Phoenicids
PSU – Psi Ursae Majorids
PUP – Puppids/Velids
GEM – Geminids
DAD – December Alpha Draconids
DLM – December Leonids Minorids

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 Dec 2/3/4/5 Meteors

  1. leona says:

    on December 9th i saw something in the sky, not quite sure what it was looked like a big ball of fire with a tail, comet maybe? i am in derry, northern ireland. would like some feedback on what it actually was if possible

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