Aug 12/13 Meteors + Perseids Peak


Well… what can I say. This year’s Perseids were very good.

The sky was nice and clear for the night of the peak (Aug 12/13 UT). I went outside just before 2 am and watched for 2.25 hours. During that time I saw exactly 1 meteor per minute under a 6.3 magnitude sky. Not all of those meteors were Perseids but 85% were or 116 of the 135 meteors. As can often be the case, the best meteor of the night was neither the brightest or a Perseid. It was a sporadic meteor of ~0th magnitude that lasted for over 4 seconds as it slowly broke into multiple pieces before fading out.

The SALSA3 camera was also running and picked up 125 meteors throughout the night. At least 97 of these meteors were Perseids. I suspect that a few meteors listed below as Other were actually Perseids mistakenly identified as another shower by the MetRec program.

Observations from around the world are still coming into the IMO. Their 2015 Perseids Live ZHR page shows a max ZHR of 83. This is still very preliminary and will be updated. Then we’ll know the real strength of this year shower. Just using my visual data I get an average ZHR of ~83. The 15 minute period with the most Perseids (10:21 – 10:36 UT) gives a ZHR of 110. All in all a very enjoyable shower.

This year’s Perseids also produced a large number of fireballs. The NASA All-Sky Fireball Network picked up 250 Perseid fireballs from its network of cameras across the US. Down in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, my friend Salvador Aguirre picked up 10 fireballs which can be seen here.

Obs Date(UT)     Time    TOT SPO ANT PER SDA ERI KCG Oth
SAL 2015-08-13  08h 32m  125  16  1   97  1   0   0   11
VIS 2015-08-13  02h 15m  135  19  -  116  -   -   -   -

SAL - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIS - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
Time - 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
PER - Perseids
SDA - Southern Delta Aquariids
COM - Southern Iota Aquariids
ERI - Eridanids
KCG - Kappa Cygnids
Oth - other minor showers


  1. Carl I’m very glad to read your posts about the Perseids. They were fantastic here from the Southeast suburbs of Indianapolis on the mornings of the 12th and 13th. I’ve been getting more and more into meteor observing for the last two years and I’ve been sending visual reports to the IMO now and then. If you ever have the time to give advice via email, I’m very interested in setting up an all-sky camera here at home. I’m wondering what you’d recommend. Ideally I’d like it to be sensitive enough to image meteors to at least 4.0 mag. and have enough resolution to identify which showers the meteors belong to. Thanks!

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