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Draconid meteor outburst underway (may have subsided now)

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posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 04:16 PM

DRACONID METEOR OUTBURST UNDERWAY: The CMOR radar in Canada is picking up a major outburst of Draconid meteors commencing at 16 UT on Oct. 8th. "Radar rates are at 1000 meteors per hour," reports Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "This is greater than last year's outburst, and 5x the 2005 level." Cooke encourages northern sky watchers, especially in Europe where night is falling, to be alert for Draconid activity. Because radars are sensitive to very small meteoroids, there is no guarantee that this radar outburst will translate into meteors visible to the human eye. On the other hand, a brilliant display could be in progress. The only way to know is to go outside and look.


A little bit late to post this (sorry) as it may well have already subsided, but I just wanted to give a heads up to members. Unfortunately it's still quite foggy here, so have not seen anything myself.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 04:20 PM
reply to post by FireballStorm

Dang it light out here but I am taking a look as soon as the sun sets. Thanks for the heads up

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 04:35 PM
All-sky cameras in Mayhill, New Mexico, Nerpio, Spain, and Siding Spring, Australia:
Of course, only Spain is under nightfall at the moment, but you can see meteors when they occur during an exposure. I don't see any at the moment.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 04:47 PM
Looked for them last night but it was cloudy - woke up at 4 it was clear and the aurora borealis was literally lighting up the northern part of the sky - doing a wild crazy dance, they were; was an incredible site. (western Canada)
Had to charge the camera batteries and it was cloudy half an hour later.
Didn't see any meteors either, but thanks for the reminder to check again tonight.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:14 PM
Thank you to all who replied.

Update - activity is now subsiding

...according to Bill Cooke.

This graph was posted on

This graph was also posted by Bill Cooke on METEOROBS (The Meteor Observing mailing list)

Radar numbers are from Peter Brown at Western. As Geert indicated, the peak is a rough match to Mikhail's 1959 stream. This event seems to follow in the grand tradition of short, intense Draconid outbursts.

Be interesting to see if anything further is seen.

Bill Cooke
NASA Meteoroid Environment Office

To explain, here Bill is referring to predictions of an encounter made by Mikhail Maslov between Earth a trail of meteoroids that were ejected by comet 21P\Giacobini-Zinner in 1959 (the "1959 stream").

As you can see from the graph, the peak of last night's outburst matches Maslov's prediction of the 1959 trail encounter to within 20 minutes.

The closer to the Earth 1959 trail passes at 0.00121 AU (which is quite large distance actually), moreover this part of trail is perturbed by previous encounter with the Earth (in 1992) and so far is several tens times less dense than analogous nonperturbed trail. Maximum time for this trail if 16:22 UT 8 October, but any visually detectable activity is unlikely.

Mikhail Maslov's 2012 Draconid predictions

Although Maslov's predictions may have been off slightly with regards to the timing of the encounter, it appears he was spot-on with that last part which I've highlighted.

A few reports posted on METEOROBS (The Meteor Observing mailing list) have confirmed that the outburst was composed mostly of meteoroids so small (micro-meteoroids) that they are not detectable by the naked eye. Whilst the majority were only detectable by observing with techniques like radar, there are also reports that there were a few visible meteors that accompanied the outburst.

It may still be possible that there could be some brighter meteors to come, although the chance gets less lightly as time progresses. So it's worth keeping an eye out for slow meteors moving away from the constellation Draco if you are out and about and it's dark.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:38 PM
reply to post by ngchunter

I've been out from 9pm till 3am. Just returned actualy.
We've had clear skies here in Spain, but it was a very poor 'shower'.
When i go out on a normal night, photographing startrails, the milkyway,.. i usualy see a minimum of 2 up to 10 meteors a night.
This night i've only seen 1!!
I remembered last year, it was way better. So i don't know where they got there predictions for this year. But still it's always nice to be outside under the stars with or without meteors

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:40 PM
october surprise anyone ?

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:48 PM
Well crap..... its cloudy here

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