Dec 18/19/20/21/22 Meteors

The “big” meteor story for this week is the peak of the Ursids. Scheduled for last night the Ursids are not considered a major shower but can often produce rates as high as 10-15 per hour. On occasion they can do much better. Unfortunately Arizona was socked in last night and my systems didn’t detect a single meteor.

Salvador Aguirre was able to observe a few Ursids visually 2 nights before the predicted peak (Dec 19/20). From Hermosillo, Salvador was able to detect 34 meteors in ~2 hours of observing under a sky with a limiting magnitude of +6.40. Of those 34 meteors, 10 were Ursids, 10 were Coma Berenicids, 6 were December Leonis Minorids, 2 were Antihelions, and 6 were Sporadics.

Bob’s notes from the night of Dec 18/19 : “The cloud cover was not as bad as the previous night but still reduced rates by roughly half. The Coma Berenicids finally came to life last night producing 5 shower members.”

… and for the night of Dec 19/20/21 : “High clouds severely compromised observing sessions the past two nights. It does not appear the weather will improve before the Ursid maximum on December 22.”

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT HYD MON DLM COM URS
TUS  2009-12-19   12h 12m   36  18  4   5   2   4   0   3
SDG  2009-12-19   12h 04m   39  25  5   2   0   2   5   0
TUS  2009-12-20   12h 11m   33  16  2   3   2   7   3   0
SDG  2009-12-20   12h 03m   19  13  3   1   -   2   0   0
TUS  2009-12-21   02h 57m   9   7   1   0   -   1   0   0
SDG  2009-12-21   11h 11m   9   7   0   -   -   2   0   0
TUS  2009-12-22   00h 00m   No Meteors - Clouds all night
SDG  2009-12-22   00h 00m   No Meteors - Clouds all night

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
HYD - Sigma Hydrids
MON - Monocerotids
DLM - December Leonis Minorids
COM - Coma Berenicids
URS - Ursids


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 18/19/20/21/22 Meteors

  1. Joe Hanlon says:

    i saw a big meteor falling at 6.40 pm est from Tampa Fl in western sky high over gulf of mexico today Tuesday nite. i bet others saw it too as it was big, lighting up a sky that was barely dark and lit by the waning moon too.

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