March 3-15 Meteors

The start of the month saw quite a bit of clouds and some well needed rain. As a result, the first four nights of the month saw very few meteors sighted over Tucson. Since then the weather has been clearer and nightly totals have ranged between 7 and 21 meteors with 11-14 being the average for a clear night.

The period saw the end of the Northern Delta Leonids (NDL) and Delta Leonids (DLE). Neither shower produced much this year with only 5 NDL and 7 DLE meteors detected in total.

A few minor showers have started up since the start of the month. The Gamma Normids (GNO) have been known for decades and are the product of an unknown comet on a retrograde inclination orbit (~120-145°) and perihelion that is interior to Earth’s orbit. With a radiant deep in the southern sky, this shower is poorly observed from Tucson. Still 10 GNO have been seen with my set-up since late February.

The Eta Virginids (EVI) is another shower that has been known for awhile. These meteors are slow (29 km/s) and come from a very low-inclination (3°), small perihelion (0.3-0.4 AU) near-Earth asteroid or short-period comet orbit. Only 3 EVIs have been detected so far. Another meteor shower from Virgo, the Northern March Virginids (NVI) just became active on the night of the 15th. Like the EVIs, the NVIs are also from a low-inclination (3-4°), small perihelion (0.5-0.7 AU) near-Earth asteroid or short-period comet orbit.

Two additional minor showers are radiating from Hercules. Both the f Herculids (FHE) and x Herculids (XHE) were found as part of the IMO Meteor Video Network (the same network that this shower is a part of) a few years ago. Each shower produces relatively slow meteors (36-44 km/s). So far, only a single meteor from each shower has been detected.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT NDL DLE GNO EVI FHE XHE NVI
SAL  2014-03-15   10h 10m   21  19  0   -   -   1   0   -   1   0
SAL  2014-03-14   10h 08m   18  13  4   -   -   0   1   0   0   -
SAL  2014-03-13   09h 11m   10  7   2   -   -   1   0   0   0   -
SAL  2014-03-12   07h 47m   11  10  1   -   -   0   0   0   0   -
SAL  2014-03-11   08h 56m   12  8   2   -   0   2   0   0   0   -
SAL  2014-03-10   11h 04m   11  11  0   -   0   0   0   0   0   -
SAL  2014-03-09   11h 05m   14  12  0   -   1   0   1   0   -   -
SAL  2014-03-08   11h 08m   11  8   1   -   0   2   0   0   -   -
SAL  2014-03-07   10h 20m   20  19  1   -   0   0   0   0   -   -
SAL  2014-03-06   08h 47m   7   5   0   -   0   0   1   1   -   -
SAL  2014-03-05   11h 13m   14  12  1   -   0   0   0   0   -   -
SAL  2014-03-04   08h 38m   2   2   0   0   0   0   0   -   -   -
SAL  2014-03-03   05h 01m   1   1   0   0   0   0   0   -   -   -

SAL - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIS - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
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
NDL - North Delta Leonids
DLE - Delta Leonids
GNO - Gamma Normids
EVI - Eta Virginids
FHE - f Herculids
XHE - x Herculids
NVI - Northern March Virginids

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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