Oct 23/24 Meteors

According to my video results, the Orionids continue to wind down. Since the peak 4 nights ago my Orionids counts have dropped from 54 to 45 to 40 to 28. Interestingly, visual observations reported to the International Meteor Organization (IMO) did not show a decrease in Orionids rates from the previous night. For the past two nights visual observers reported a ZHR in the mid-20’s. Something similar happened last year (see the IMO’s 2007 ZHR graph). After a 2007 peak with a ZHR of 70, the Orionids continued to produce meteors at half the peak rate for the next couple of days. So maybe we’ll still be able to see elevated rates of Orionids this weekend.

Carl 2008-10-24  11h 14m  48  13  1   5   28  1   0
Bob  2008-10-24  10h 30m 123  42  3   8   65  2   3

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)
NTA – Northern Taurids
STA – Southern Taurids
ORI – Orionids
EGE – Epsilon Gemininds
LMI – Leo Minorids


  1. What did we see? at about 7:52pm in the Western Sky over San Diego, my firneds and I saw what looked the two hug headlights in the sky traveling together. The left light dove down in a huge ball of fire witha long fire tail. the right light kept coming straight for us and then split in two and fell to the earth as two seprerate balls of fire with long tails. They were incredibly slow. We would have had time to take a camera out and take photos but we were awe sruck. About 3 minutes after that we saw a third “headlight” and it made a rapid plunge to earth. What the heck did we see? 10/24/2008

  2. Jessica,

    There was a rocket launch from Vandenburg last night at 7:28pm. From my house south of San Diego the rocket traveled from the NW to the south. All that was visible during most of the flight was a deep orange glow from the exhaust. After several minutes the second stage ignited and the faint, white plume appeared. Not long afterward the rocket entered the Earth’s shadow and disappeared from sight. This particular launch placed an Italian satellite in orbit. Launches occurring closer to sunset are more spectacular as they are much brighter and longer lasting.

    Bob Lunsford

  3. Bob,

    Thanks for the identifying what Jessica saw. I had forgotten all about this launch. Occasionally the launches can be seen from Tucson as well.

    – Carl

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