Jan 31/1 to Feb 4/5 Meteors

The past week has seen a usual amount of meteor activity, well at least for early February. The last 2 days of January saw a mix of rain and clouds as the soon-to-be much stronger Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011 moved through the US southwest. Though we only got 0.12″ of rain at my house (which all fell while I was at lunch), the storm did usher in a record-breaking cold for Tucson. Though back-to-back low temperatures of 19F and 18F may not be out of the norm for most people, here in Tucson that’s cold. As a result, I decided not to turn on my allsky cam those nights since I didn’t want its internal heater running full blast all night (I was actually thinking of the damage to my electricity bill more than any damage to the camera). SALSA3 was left on and worked fine.

This post includes the 1st time I can present meteor data from all 3 MetRec sites in this part of the world. On the night of Jan 31/Feb 1, my Tucson based camera as well as Bob Lunsford’s San Diego based camera and Salvador Aguirre’s Hermosillo based camera all reported data. Hopefully this will be the first of many nights with coverage from the tri-camera area.

As always, Bob has provided excellent nightly commentary to go with his observations:::

Jan 31/Feb 1 – “I lost two nights due to clouds and rain. The day of February 1st was partly cloudy but the sky had totally cleared by sunset. Unfortunately there were clouds off the coast which arrived after sunset preventing me from recording any activity prior to 10:20 PST. It remained clear until 00:20 when another patch of clouds obscured the sky. This lasted until 01:30, when it finally cleared for the remainder of the night. Although it was clear during the time the ACE radiant was above the horizon, no activity from that radiant was recorded this morning. Totals from the other sources of activity were compromised due to clouds.”

Feb 1/2 – “It was clear the entire night. Activity was near normal for this date and conditions. Shower activity was slightly lower than expected. Unfortunately no Alpha Centaurids were recorded, which is my prime target this time of year.”

Feb 2/3 – “This was a rather forgettable session. First of all, I fell asleep before dusk and did not wake until just before 10pm PST (0600 UT). When checking the results for February 3rd the following evening, I was baffled as to why no activity was recorded after 2:40 PST (10:40 UT). When I started the camera for the next night’s session, it became clear. There was no power to the camera. A quick inspection revealed the cause. Some varmint had chewed the power cord in half on the morning of the 3rd. There were bite marks on the cord where it was closest to the ground. Thus I had lost three hours of clear sky plus another opportunity to try to record more ACE activity. Luckily I had a spare cord available and after a short delay, the session for February 4th was started. But that is another story…”

Feb 3/4 – “The sky was clear the entire night. Meteor totals were slightly better than expected. Shower activity was nearly totally absent though. Plots reveal a tight radiant near 10:30 (157) -12 that produced five meteors. This position lies on the Hydra/Sextans border.”

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT DLM ACE PIH
SAL3 2011-02-05   11h 34m   16  14  1   -   0   1
ALLS 2011-02-05   11h 46m   10  9   1   -   0   0

SAL3 2011-02-04   11h 28m   21  20  0   0   0   1
SDG  2011-02-04   10h 49m   38  36  1   1   0   0

SAL3 2011-02-03   11h 37m   18  15  1   1   1   -
SDG  2011-02-03   04h 40m   13  10  3   0   0   -

SAL3 2011-02-02   11h 32m   16  15  1   0   0   -
ALLS 2011-02-02   11h 46m   3   3   0   0   0   -
SDG  2011-02-02   11h 31m   31  28  2   1   0   -

SAL3 2011-02-01   04h 47m   13  12  1   0   0   -
ALLS 2011-02-01   11h 51m   12  9   2   1   0   -
SDG  2011-02-01   11h 26m   23  20  2   1   0   -
HERM 2011-02-01   10h 58m   8   7   1   0   0   -

SAL3 - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
ALLS - Near all-sky camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIST - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VISH - Visual observations from Hermosillo (Salvador Aguirre)
HERM - PARENI camera in Hermosillo (Salvador Aguirre)
SDG - Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
Time - 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
DLM - December Leonis Minorids
ACE - Alpha Centaurids
PIH - Pi Hydrids

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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