The long nights of November are producing a good rate of meteors. This is true even though there are no major showers active. The Taurids, which can produce spectacular fireballs, have a low rate overall and the Orionids ceased to produce “major shower” rates of meteors over a week ago. The reason for the relatively high rates is that the Fall months see the highest rate of Sporadic meteors. Sporadics are not associated with any particular meteor shower. The flip-side of this will be evident in the Spring when meteor rates are much lower, maybe a third of what we are seeing now.
Bob (SDG) notes “Clear skies again prevailed the entire night. Both branches of the Taurids were strong during this session producing a total of 24 meteors. The Orionids still remain weakly active.”
The Moon is starting to become a problem for evening observers. The Taurid fireballs will not be bothered by the Moon but the fainter meteors will be much harder to see. Unfortunately, this month’s Moon will wash out most of the upcoming Leonid meteor shower which will start ramping up any day now.
Obs Date (UT) TotTime TOT SPO NTA STA ORI TUS 2008-11-07 11h 36m 27 19 2 5 1 SDG 2008-11-07 11h 30m 108 80 12 12 4
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
On the night of 6 November, at about 6:10 PM pacific time, I was travelling west towards Del Mar and the Ocean, and witnessed the largest meteor that I have ever seen. It was directly ahead of me in the dark sky and seeme to start from about a 45 degree angle and come straight down toward the ocean. It was glowing in a white/greenish mass streaking downward, and burned itself out just about 10 degrees above horizon. It appeared as though it was thowing off pieces as it decended. The greenish glow was different than other things I’ve seen in the past. If anything is left of it, it’s somewhere off the coast of San Diego.
Hundreds of people must have seen it, because it was directly in your windshield as you drove west.
At around seven pm on the 7th (November 2008) I witnessed the largest meteor I have ever seen. I live in North Las Vegas and I can estimate it was traveling in an East-West direction. Does anyone have more info?
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