Clouds + Full Moon = lots of missed meteors
There’s not much more to say. The consistent cloud cover in conjunction with a very bright Moon really does wreck havoc on the automated meteor detection code we use. Similar to Bob’s experience below, every night produces thousands of false detections. Luckily it is worth scanning through the list of possible meteors for the few real ones. Clouds may continue to be a problem till the end of the week.
From Bob’s notes from 10/3: “A cloudy day gave way to mostly clear skies tonight. There were occasional alto cumulus clouds, which shone brightly in the moonlight, which triggered over a thousand false detections. The full moon was the major reason for the lower counts tonight.”
The past few nights has seen the start of monitoring for 2 annual showers. The October Camelopardalids (OCA) are a short-duration (~3 day) shower that will peak tonight. This shower usually shows little activity though outbursts of higher activity were reported in 1902, 1942, 1976 and 2005. There may be a future outburst in 2018. Due to the nearly Full Moon and lack of a predicted outburst, there may be few OCAs to see though one never knows.
Also starting last night are the Orionids (ORI). This shower is one of the year’s best and though activity is very low now, its peak on Oct 21/22 will be worth watching.
Obs Date (UT) TotTime TOT SPO DAU NTA STA ORI OCA TUS 2009-10-05 02h 31m 6 2 3 0 0 1 0 TUS 2009-10-04 09h 29m 19 13 1 2 1 2 TUS 2009-10-03 00h 00m Clouds/Rain all night SDG 2009-10-03 08h 37m 39 36 - - 3
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)
DAU – Delta Aurigids
NTA – Northern Taurids (includes Antihelions)
STA – Southern Taurids (includes Antihelions)
ORI – Orionids
OCA – October Camelopardalids