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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.
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.
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.