Nov 5/6 Meteors

Last night saw clear conditions at Tucson and San Diego. Both sites were dealing with off-and-on cirrus for the past few nights which is why the results (especially for SDG) were lower than usual.

Last night’s Tucson results are similar to those from the past few nights. The San Diego camera, which can see much fainter meteors, saw quite a number of Taurids, especially Southern Taurids which outnumbered their Northern counterparts by a factor of 2 to 1.

With the Southern Taurids at their peak, remember to remain on the look-out for Taurid fireballs at all hours of the night.

Obs  Date (UT)   TotTime TOT SPO NTA STA ORI
TUS  2008-11-06  11h 35m  30  22  2   3   3
SDG  2008-11-06  10h 27m  95  67  7   16  5

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)
NTA – Northern Taurids
STA – Southern Taurids
ORI – Orionids


  1. Hi! I saw 3 items in the skies tonight in San Diego driving home- about 4:30 to 5:00pm- coming in from the West (over the ocean) with a trajectory of about 30-45 degrees heading north with tails. Do you know if those were meteors? It was strange. I googled San Diego meteors and you were the first to come up- which is why I ask- you must be the guru for the skies. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Linda – November7, 2008

    Hi, Just saw a big beautiful meteor with a tail in the southern sky over Santa Barbara about 6:32. Had to look it up to see if it was a comet or a meteorite and found your site. I just learned about Taurids. Thanks!

  3. Hello –
    At 3:40 am this morning November 8, I saw a huge meteor, one of the longest lasting I have ever seen, crossing the sky from southeast to northwest…it was so long-lasting and bright I saw the reflection of it on the leaves in my backyard tree and wondered how a car’s headlights could reflect in the leaves from that angle, while also wondering why I didn’t hear any car – and then the fireball crossed the sky directly in front of me!

  4. Hi Linda,

    There was a report of the same meteor that you saw on meterobs (a Yahoo group for meteor observers). This is what the observer, Brian Vanderkolk, reported seeing:

    “Just observed the tail end of a nice bright meteor over the
    Los Angeles area this evening.

    The time was 6:28 PM local according to my cell phone.

    It was descending in an almost due west direction at an
    azimuth just south of due west. Tracing the track back it
    would have been south of zenith by about 10-15 degrees.

    I only saw the tail end of the blue-green object as it
    then exploded into about a dozen yellow sparks at an
    altitude roughly just below Jupiter’s altitude at the
    time, ending about 5-10 degrees south of due west.

    Magnitude was roughly that of Jupiter.

    It was VERY distinctly blue/green.”

    Thanks for the report,
    – Carl

  5. Hi Karen,

    Sounds like it was a nice bright fireball. That’s the 2nd major fireball you’ve seen in the past few months, right? Keep sending in your reports.

    – Carl

  6. Hi Alana,

    How dark was the sky? If it was already dark, then I’d say yes you probably caught a meteor which had broken into a few pieces. If it was still bright then it’s possible you may have seen a few distant airplanes whose contrails were still illuminated by the Sun. Another way to know what it was is based on the speed. If they moved very fast then they were meteors. If they moved slow or not much at all, then distant airplanes.

    Thanks for reporting,
    – Carl

  7. About 4:30 am in Starksboro Vermont on Thursday Nov 6,2008 I was driving north to work and my attention was drawn away from the road to the west where I saw the longest ,brightest tail and a bright green ball that exploded! It is dark on this highway and our airport in Burlington has very little traffic. I walk out of my door in Lincoln Vermont at about 4:15 am and have seen several bright shooting stars lately so I was not surprised at what I saw but this was huge in the sky. When I entered the nearest town there was a traffic light that was green at the time and I thought that it was close to the size of the exploding ball I saw. I have no doubt of what I saw but I am glad to hear others describing similar sightings. I was just screaming with excitement – what a sight to see!

  8. How exciting! Wish I saw it. BTW, 4:30 AM is a little early to be driving to work on a cold November Vermont morning!

Comments are closed.