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Aurigid meteor shower (31st Aug/1st Sept) + Meteor rate calculator for all major 2007 showers

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posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 05:08 PM
For those of you in the western United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, from Mexico, and from the western provinces of Canada, there will be an opportunity this year to observe a rare outburst of the Aurigid meteor shower. Rates could be up to 200 per hour (for a short time) from prime observing locations, even though the moon will cause interference, but since relatively bright meteors are expected, not many will be lost in the glare of the moon.

Here is a link to the article with details, and a java based rate calculator for the Aurigid shower, as well as this years Perseids, Leonids and Geminids:

An unusual shower on September 1, 2007

Some time in the century or so around 83 B.C., comet Kiess (C/1911 N1) passed by the Sun, ejecting a cloud of dust particles. The comet returned in 1911, after completing one orbit. The dust particles were pushed by the Sun's light into slightly wider orbits and have been returning ever since, forming a thin ongoing stream of dust that usually passes just outside Earth's orbit. On occasion, the combined gravity of the solar system's planets moves this dust trail into Earth's path. Earth encountered this 2000-year-old dust in 1935, 1986, and 1994, causing a meteor shower known as the Aurigids.

posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 08:53 PM
From your linked article

Take part in the campaign

You can contribute to the study of the Aurigid shower by:
[before the observations, make sure to set the time on your camera/camcorder to 1 second accurately]

Visual observations: count meteors in 1-minute intervals. Do not change viewing direction, keep Moon out of field of view.

Photographic observations: use a digital camera set at ISO 1600, take series of 10 second exposures of about 50 degree field of sky (not too big). Set camera such that as many as possible stars are visible.

Video observations: use camcorder to film small portion of the sky containing many bright stars such as Orion (make sure stars are visible). Do not change viewing direction.

Looks like the average Joe is being asked to participate in the study of this rare event.

I'm lucky enough to be right in the path of the 200 per hour event.
Sounds interesting. May have to get out the tripods and cameras.

[edit on 3-8-2007 by spacedoubt]

posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 12:51 PM

Yes - participation is encouraged, not only with regards to this years Aurigid meteor shower, but in all aspects of meteor observing.

Meteor observing is one of the few (if not the only) branches of science which relies heavily on amateur observation for its data. Without the help of amateur around the world, there would be little or no progress in this field. Observations from the general public are always welcome.

As well as being fascinating to observe, and fun (when there is some action), it's nice to know that by observing you can contribute to our scientific understanding of this phenomenon, which it turn contributes to our understanding of the workings of our solar system and indeed the universe as a whole. Although progress is being made, there is much still to learn, and many surprises still to come - it is the nature of meteor showers!

For those of you who would like to find out more about meteor observing and how to submit data, here are a few useful links:

International Meteor Organization
The American Meteor Society
Meteor observing mailing list

Good luck, and clear skies!

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 07:26 AM
NASA has just issued an update, which casts some doubt on previous predictions. See the full story here:

posted on Aug, 31 2007 @ 05:43 AM
I wanted to bump this thread as an alert to my fellow skywatchers.
It's an unusual opportunity to see a meteor shower of a slightly different substance.

Some have mentioned the potential of up to 500 meteors per hour.
But remember, as with the comets themselves. The accuracy of viewing predictions, is just that, a prediction.
You may be awed, you may be disappointed.

However you'll be really disappointed if you forget, and it turns out to be spectacular!

posted on Aug, 31 2007 @ 05:58 AM
So if they are right, people here on the East Coast miss out on this completely if I understand this right? With such long period comets and our moving through space, can they be wrong by a few thousand miles (and 5 hours)? I really want to see this here in Michigan - wishful thinking perhaps?

posted on Aug, 31 2007 @ 06:23 AM
You'll certainly miss out on the peak, if the predictions hold.
But you might catch some earlier (while it's still dark in your area)

It would be worth taking a peek anyway. You may be treated to some unusual coloration as they ionize in the atmosphere.

posted on Aug, 31 2007 @ 06:35 AM
Space Doubt -
Thanks for the info. I will certainly start watching at 4am(EST) and will post any pics or sightings if there are any.

posted on Aug, 31 2007 @ 07:28 AM
Thanks for bumping this spacedoubt

harddrive21 - There's always a chance they could be wrong about the peak time. It's worth observing for as long as you can in case something interesting happens earlier on (or indeed later on for those West of where the predicted peak is supposed to be visible). The peak is supposed to be quite "sharp", so missing it by one or two hours could mean the difference between a spectacular display, and a very ordinary night with no unusual activity.

Peak time predictions have been quite accurate in the past (for short period comet showers), and there is no reason to suppose that this will be any different, but there is always the chance of a surprise. What is less certain is the meteor rate prediction and average brightness prediction.

So you may see something spectacular, or you may not - what is certain, is that you won't see anything if you don't go out and look... a bit like buying a lottery ticket, you can only win if you have one. This is a once in a life time chance, so spend as much time as you can observing once it's dark, and you might get lucky!

If it clears up here in the UK, I'll be observing too!

Good luck all!

posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 09:01 AM
wow I completely missed this thread (my glasses are supposed to show up in a few days) and started another (which got locked, sorry) and a search only showed me a news article from the beginning of august. I guess it was just the wrong choice of search keywords. Anyways, a copy and paste from my thread

"Did anyone see this mornings meteor shower? It was supposed to start 4:33AM (or 4:37am) pacific time. I was waiting all week for it after all the predictions about it being 100 meteors an hour, then 200, but with the maximum prediction of 1000. I'm in Mountain Time so I went out a little after 5am and waited.... some good ones that were way better than my last meteor shower experience... but far from these predictions. I just got back in at 6:30 AM MT and I can easily say my experience was... disappointing. How was everyone else experience? Did I get the time wrong? All in all, I saw maybe 15-20 meteors in an hour and a half. With all the articles talking about how good it was supposed to be, how Nasa and other scientists were really interested in studying these meteors because they were from a long term comet. For supposedly being a once in a life time event, mine was a big let down. I had to give up because the sun was creeping into the sky."

[edit on 1-9-2007 by DemonicAngelZero]

posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 09:39 AM
Reports from the Aurigid MAC team indicate that there was indeed a brief outburst, though perhaps not as intense as some were predicting and a little bit earlier.

4:49 a.m. Delia from the North Plane reports that the ZHR at peak (confirmed at 11:15 UT) was about 100. Current ZHR is 35, with a sporadic rate of 5. The plane is now flying over San Francisco, California.

I'm guessing the meteors were also not quite as bright as predicted, so you would have had to be in quite a dark location and at altitude to witness the best of the spectacle. I hope those of you that tried got to see at least a few. Over here was clouded out, and we would have missed the peak anyway.

The Leonids will be peaking in two and a half months time, and there won't be any moonlight to interfere with them, so I'm hoping that will make up for the slightly disappointing Aurigids! Something to look forward to anyway.

posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 10:08 AM
reply to post by DemonicAngelZero

DemonicAngelZero - sorry it was disappointing for you. I don't know why you didn't see more than you did - perhaps the sky conditions were not too good where you were observing from? It can make allot of difference if the sky is not totally transparent, especially when there is a bright moon in the sky!

Anyway, meteor observing can be a lottery... sometimes you get lucky, other times you don't. Don't let that put you off though. The more chances you give it, the better your chances of seeing something good. Meteor predictions are still a relatively new thing, and can be inaccurate where rates/brightness is concerned - but at least the timing can be accurately predicted in many cases now, which is a great advantage.

posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 12:08 PM
No worries, it was still worth it getting up to see it. Unfortunately my conditions weren't particularly "ideal". The sky was clear but the northern direction points straight to the center of town, I live on the outskirts. And the moon was certainly making its presence known. I saw them mostly coming from the north, but there was one a little off of compass east and another perfectly compass west. (even a small one south south east) Most of the ones I saw were indeed bright and going really much faster than most of the previous meteor showers I've seen) I just got my hopes up and expected to see alot more.

posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 12:52 PM
I saw quite a few.
But really, no more than an above average regular annual shower.
I was out there during the outburst. At peak, (which was a very short peak BTW). I would guess, that about roughly one per minute was seeable.
That only seemed to last about 30 minutes.

Because of the moon, I used a building to block out part of the sky.
So, that was a limitation for viewing.
NO pics!

posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 11:38 AM
DemonicAngelZero - Yeah, I sometimes wish forecasters would be a bit more conservative with their predictions. Not good getting peoples hopes up too much. Predictions have to be taken with a grain of salt for the moment. Personally, I go out not expecting to see too much, and if I see a good display it's a bonus rather than a let down.

spacedoubt - Glad you got to see a few. Shame you didn't manage to catch any

There was a nice photo of one posted on spaceweather here.

The gallery also has a few nice pics.

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