Perseid meteor watch

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Perseid meteor watch

Postby meteorgw » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:13 am

The moon is a real pain for this year's Perseids and is full on the 10th. Nevertheless, I hope to get some observing in Friday evening and, as mentioned at the meeting on Tuesday, members are welcome to join me at Bassingham from 7.30pm for bbq and observing later if we have any clear skies. Bring scopes if you like but all you need is your eyes, a deck chair or lounger and warm clothing (and perhaps an old sleeping bag). Please let me know you are coming on graham@lincolnastronomy.org or 07443 492362. Look forward to seeing you. Don't forget that maximum is on Tuesday and Phil will be bringing his radio meteor equipment to the LAS observatory. This is a first for the society and rather exciting - it does not even need clear skies!
Regards, Graham
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Re: Perseid meteor watch

Postby meteorgw » Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:56 pm

There was only 2 of us on Friday and eventually gave up waiting for the rain to go at about 2.15am. I managed a 1 hour watch on Monday night and saw 4, 2 Perseids and 2 sporadics and one of the sporadics has been imaged. A very small trail with a brief burst near the centre of its path and it is right in the corner of the frame. I noted it visually as mag 0. I had to reduce the exposure time of each frame to 15 seconds and ISO to 1600 because of the bright moonlight. Visual limiting magnitude was only about 4.5 but the camera was still picking up stars down to about 6 mag. 240 frames to capture one meteor; glad we don't need to use film any more!

Phil had more success with his new radar set up. On Tuesday morning he was recording 50 per hour. His talk last night was very interesting and with a live demo as well. It works by receiving reflected radar signals when a meteor produces an ionised trail in the atmosphere. The radar transmitter is located in southern France and directs its beam to the south and this means that the meteors being detected are somewhere above North Africa and are being 'viewed' through about 1000 miles of our atmosphere. Having looked at Stellarium, the Perseid radiant would only have been 16 degrees above the horizon from Algeria so only grazing Perseids would be entering the atmosphere which explains why there were only a few being detected last night. Nevertheless, some of the trails were lasting up to a minute which would be a very spectacular sight for an Algerian. Just as we were leaving after the talk the sky was still very blue with just a few stars appearing and Dave cried out "Wow, did you see that". Well actually, Dave, no one did. It was a Perseid fireball. Unfortunately, it soon clouded over again after I arrived home.
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Re: Perseid meteor watch

Postby DIYastronomer » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:09 am

This is typical of what we saw live on Tuesday night. The ionised trail left by the meteor lasted about a minute. What you are seeing is the Doppler from the meteor. Coming towards you is on the right of the image and going away from you is on the left.
The brighter the colour, the more ionisation is taking place (the brighter the meteor in visible terms). There is also an audio file but it is too big to post on the forum.
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Meteor.jpg
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Re: Perseid meteor watch

Postby meteorgw » Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:05 pm

Made another one hour watch on Wednesday night and saw 12 with 10 being Perseids. Just one captured on camera, a mag 0 Perseid. There were several bright enough (best was a -3 mag Perseid) but they flew all round just out of the camera's field of view. The moon was still bright but not as bad as on Monday and limiting mag had improved to about 5.0. Graham
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