Oct 21-22 Meteors

The Orionids probably peaked over the past two nights. Orionid rates were much higher  with 44 and 47 of them detected on the night of the 20/21st and 21/22nd, respectively. The Orionids weren’t the only meteors. In fact the total number of meteors detected were 83 and 77 on both nights.

We’ll have a better idea of the true activity level of the Orionids in a few days as observers submit their observations to the International Meteor Organization’s ZHR Live online feature. I’ll summarize this year’s activity and how it compares to past years in a future post.

The brightest meteor wasn’t an Orionid though. At 08:19 UT on October 22, a -3rd magnitude epsilon Geminid (EGE) was observed. The EGEs are the result of a currently unknown long-period comet with a very retrograde orbit (171-173 degree inclination).

Obs Date(UT)     Time    TOT SPO EGE STA NTA ORI Oth
SAL 2017-10-22  09h 11m   77  23  1   4   1   47  1
SAL 2017-10-21  09h 07m   83  31  4   2   2   44  0

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 known shower)
ANT - Antihelions
EGE - epsilon Geminids
NTA - Northern Taurids
STA - Southern Taurids
ORI - Orionids
Oth - other minor showers