Talk about nights at different extremes. Two nights ago had to rank as one of the most boring nights of the past 2 years. Not only were a small number (6) of meteors seen by my deep camera, no meteors were seen by my wide-angle fireball camera. For a clear night you should see at least 3 or 4 bright ones.
Last night (Sunday, March 14) was better. What really set it apart was a bright fireball seen over Tucson at ~10:14 pm (5:14 UT). Both of my cameras picked it up. The first movie shows the very early stages of the fireball. Since the SALSA2 camera only has a FOV of about 50×70 degrees, this camera was lucky to see any of it. In the movie the fireball is moving nearly due north (north is to the bottom) and first becomes visible just to the north of Leo.
In the next view, we are looking at images from a camera with a much wider FOV. Here the fireball continues to brighten as it moves towards the North. It is still brightening as it moves out of the FOV (about 20-30 degrees elevation). The apparent skipping motion is due to my computer dropping frames. Guess I need a better system…
The near-all-sky cam on Mount Hopkins caught another view of the fireball. Hopkins is located to the south of my place so the fireball appeared further north.
The fireball was also seen on all-sky cameras in Sierra Vista and on Mount Lemmon. Interestingly, a brilliant fireball was observed to the west of Sacramento, CA at almost exactly the same time. The jury is out as to whether the AZ and CA fireballs are one and the same since they could easily be unrelated. If anyone witnessed the fireball, especially observers to the north of Tucson, leave a comment and let us know. Let’s hope tonight brings another one.
Obs Date(UT) Time TOT SPO ANT GNO TUS 2010-03-15 10h 25m 13 10 3 0 TUS 2010-03-14 08h 47m 6 6 0 0 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) ANT - Antihelions GNO - Gamma Normids