Nov 12/13/14/15 Meteors

The sky cleared up last night after a few days of cirrus, and sometimes thicker clouds. We even got some rain, well enough to wet the ground though not enough to register in the rain gauge. So the drought continues…

There have been some changes since the last meteor summary. The Orionids are over for 2009 and are no longer being monitored. A few minor showers are now active and will be monitored over the next week or so. These minor showers include the Alpha Monocerotids, the Omicron Eridanids and the November Orionids. Though both the famous Orionids of October and the November Orionids radiate from the constellation of Orion, they are not related from each. The Orionids were created by Comet Halley while the November Orionids were created by a different, and currently unknown, long-period comet.

Last night did produce a nice number of brighter meteors. The best one was a Taurid observed over Tucson around 3:24 MST (10:24 UT). The video below shows the first half or so of the meteor’s travel. The image is upside down so north is towards the bottom and east is towards the right. You can even make out the northern half of Orion, from the belt on up, near the top of the picture to the left of center.


The same meteor was also seen by the all-sky cam at the 6.5-m MMT telescope on Mount Hopkins at a distance of ~40 miles or ~64 kilometers from my home. Note the parallax between each image. In my video, the meteor is traveling almost due east near the bright star Procyon. In the MMT skycam image the meteor is traveling to the northeast from Lynx into Ursa Major. The red cross near the end of the meteor trail is the location that the MMT was pointed at. Unfortunately, the field of view of the MMT (like most large scopes) is very small so it would literally be a million-in-one chance of the meteor being seen by the MMT.


Bob’ notes for the night of Nov 14/15 : “Skies finally cleared over the San Diego area and I was able to record all night long. No notable activity was recorded.”

TUS Nov-15 11h47m  39  16  7   3   9   2   1   0   1
SDG Nov-15 11h18m  43  28  6   1   4   1   -   2   1
TUS Nov-14 07h25m  3   2   0   1   0   -   -   0   0
SDG Nov-14 00h00m  Clouds all night
TUS Nov-13 00h00m  Clouds all night
SDG Nov-13 00h00m  Clouds all night

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/STA – Northern and Southern Taurids (includes Antihelions)
LEO – Leonids
AMO – Alpha Monocerotids
NOO – November Orionids
AND – Andromedids
OER – Omicron Eridanids