Last time I bought my mobile meatiest scatter radio equipment to an outreach event at Rosliston forestry Centre, children were dipping and diving around pegs and ropes holding the ex-military Klansman aerial up. This was identified as a health and safety risk. I have just received the item below – recommended by Ed – it is a wonderfully well-designed piece of kit sold as a mobile stand for garden parasols – it locks both up and down using a spring-loaded mechanism and a metal bit which fits into a slot at the top or the bottom so that it is very solidly held in place in either the open or closed position. It is quite robust be made of solid metal construction, and its ability to fold up makes it easy to transport – bank said for a brilliant idea!
My Clansman radio mast that I am hoping to erect using this base:
I had a reply from George Mihail that I met in greece. It’s worth having a look at his website. Very interesting setup, a great view. The last photo is the latest live feed from his webcam at 1711 15th september. If you read further down, the english translation of my message is at the bottom
We manage to communicate and to take pictures of every activity of the stargate we have a very interesting winter here in Skopelos.Thanks with the best wishesGeorge Michail
Although not visually very active (clouds again!!) the Perseids were very prominent in the radar data. In my post mid august the data showed a maximum daily rate of 313 on the 13th with a maximum hourly rate of 28 between 2-3am on 12th, and as the hourly plot showed the main activity was between 2 – 8 am hence missed by lots of people even if clear, Ed and Dave at Solarfest went to bed too early!!
The meteor count total for the month was 2999, with an average daily count of 97 and average hourly rate of 4.
The hourly and daily plots are below and for comparison below these the August daily count for the last 3 years, interestingly the shower peaked on the 13th in 2018, 2017 but on 12th in 2016, this however is only the daily count and a different set of conditional actions for recording events is now in use.
The final chart is a reposting of the 2018 shower data.
The Perseids have been and gone, maximum hourly count was 28 between 2-3 pm on the 12th and the max daily count was 313 on the 13th. The hourly plot between 10th and 16th shows the daily shower distribution quite clearly, maximum activity picking up for 2pm onwards on most days , hence not many being seen, also the majority of counts were of low duration, so most not very bright, there were some longer duration signals associated with fireballs but not many and certainly not bright enough to trigger the all sky camera which I had running when sky was clear.( which wasn’t very often)
First an apology – for some reason the system wouldn’t let me upload any pictures, I thought I just gave up, but it’s published the post anyway!
My weekend went a bit pear-shaped so I ended up trying to get some Perseid images last night. I only saw one, and my very last shot of the night picked up a very faint one heading straight from the radiant near the double cluster, please excuse the awful coma, on 10th.
This appears to be an ion trail from a meteor that sneaked through between shorter exposures on the 14th
Having much more luck with the Graves Radar setup, thanks to Peter hill for his inspirational talk which encouraged me to take the plunge!
I ahven’t been as sophisticated in my counting of events – my brain isn’t up to checking several thousand screen gabs, so yes there are multiple counts in there as well missed counts from meteors arriving before the previous one finished, space debris and the ISS on multiple occasions. My assumption is that all these errors are effectively random and don’t affect the overall profile significantly.
These are my hourly counts, all peaking about 6:00am – UTC/GMT.
This is the average of the above graph, easier to see the overall daily pattern:
And all the data in a row, to show how the peaks rise and fall:
Monitoring of meteor activity using the reflection of the Graves radar signal with the fundongle pro+ shows a gradual increase in the daily count since start of month ( 78), up to 109 for yesterday and the maximum hourly rate has now risen to 15, also noticeable is the higher frequency of longer duration events, that could indicate fireballs such as this trace below. The peak is due on the eve of 12/13 Aug but also possible to view on 11/12th , however forecast is not good for either night !! However with the increase in activity and higher incidence of long lasting trails it might be worth having a look on the eve 10/11th as at least it is supposed to be clear!
“Although the July radiants do not individually produce strong rates, activity from the Aquarius and Capricornus regions in July and early August, as well as minor activity from other radiants, cause hourly rates to basically rise between the middle and end of July for observers in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.” ( http://meteorshowersonline.com/july_radiants.html)
The total number of meteors detected in July (2018) was 1824, with a mean daily rate of 59 and mean hourly rate of 2.5.
The maximum daily rate was 87 on the 26th July and the maximum hourly rate was 11, between 3-4am on the 27th and 30th.
The daily and hourly rates are shown in the first two charts below
These maxima coincide with the SDA shower and the trends over the month reflect the observation quoted at the start of this post. The trend of increasing activity towards the end of the month is borne out in the last chart below which compares the data over the last three years, the suggested trend is more pronounced in the 2016 and 2017 data than this year .
The Perseids are already with us peaking on the night of the 12/13th August, and with a new / very young moon there should be good viewing conditions as long as the clouds stay away.
On paper, the Nightwatch event was going to be particularly amazing this year. This annual event is an outreach activity organised by Rosliston Forestry Centre, where the astronomy group always has a presence. Many members of the public come to look through our telescopes, watch owl and bird or prey displays, go on a bat walk and join the moth group to explore the world of moths.
Last night stool out in that it coincided with the date of one of our usual meetings, and at the start there was going to be a total lunar eclipse and many planets were on display.
In addition, the sky had been amazingly clear for weeks beforehand.
…….Until the day when it clouded over and we could not see a thing in the night sky during the event!
Good job I bought my mobile meteor radio kit along (telescope at the ready to go in car at home – replaced last minute when I looked at the sky) – worked well (thanks to Bob Williams in particular for his help here) – plenty of meteors detected – we are the start of the Perseid meteor show with the keep coming up in a couple of weeks. The kit includes small portable aerial, Yaesu FT-817 radio, audio cable connection to my windows laptop, Spectrum Lab software, all powered very successfully by Ed Mann’s power pack – the inclusion of in-built inverter and 240V sockets on the side is a real boon. The radio is 12V and currently I am running it through a power supply that plugs into 240V socket which is a bit ridiculous – must make a 12V socket version.
Nevertheless, quite a few people turned up from the club to meet members of the public. Plenty of scopes were on display. It stayed dry and we all had great fun.
This is what it means to observe in the UK. You’ve got to be interested in clouds.
Particular thanks are due to Damian who made the effort to attend in spite of needing to get up really early the following morning to catch the plane for his holiday.
Look at how dry the grass is! We have had a particularly dry summer this year.
No major activity in June , the June Lyrids the most active around the 15th/16th of June, the peak is distinguishable on the daily count plot. The peak activity around the 10/11th, is probably the combination of the Theta Opiuchids and Saggitariids. The rest of activity during the month a combination of the many minor showers present.
The dip in the daily rate on the 6th is due to Graves being off line between 01-05 hrs. The activity has dropped of to about 50 meteors / day towards end of month and has continued at this rate into July which is a relatively “quiet” month.
The plot is similar to the daily plot from 2017, although rates lower( this is probably dependent upon the density of the debris field the earth passes through )
I’ve listed the showers for June below as are the daily and hourly plots for June 2018 and the daily plot for June 2017.