August 12, 2015 1 Comment
If everything goes according to schedule, tonight will mark the peak of the Perseids meteor shower. Over at the IMO, observers from around the world have reported over 4000 Perseids with rates reaching as high as ~46 per hour (assuming dark skies and perfect conditions). Hopefully those rates will double tonight.
Two nights ago (Aug 10/11) were clear here in Tucson. The SALSA3 video system detected 43 meteors of which 18 were Perseids. This number may seem low for a camera system that was running all night. It is when comparing against the number of meteors that a visual observer would see. For starters the camera can only detect brighter meteors (down to 2nd/3rd magnitude) and it only covers a small part of the sky (~50×60 degs).
That night I also spent an hour watching the shower with my own eyes. During that hour I saw 14 meteors of which 9 were Perseids. That isn’t bad for 2 days before the peak and with thick cirrus affecting half of my view.
Yesterday was a wet one in Tucson with major thunderstorms hitting the house around 7 am and 7 pm. Though I woke up a few times during the night to see if it was clear to observe, I ultimately didn’t go out since the sky was always covered in patchy clouds. To my surprise, the video camera picked up 41 meteors between the clouds. It probably would have seen many more if it were clearer.
Obs Date(UT) Time TOT SPO ANT PER SDA ERI KCG Oth SAL 2015-08-12 04h 21m 41 10 1 22 3 2 0 3 SAL 2015-08-11 08h 42m 43 12 4 18 1 1 0 7 VIS 2015-08-11 01h 00m 14 5 - 9 - - - - SAL 2015-08-10 00h 43m 3 2 0 1 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 PER - Perseids SDA - Southern Delta Aquariids COM - Southern Iota Aquariids ERI - Eridanids KCG - Kappa Cygnids Oth - other minor showers