March is not blessed with a conspicuous meteor shower but there are plenty of minor showers overlapping.
||February ??-April ??
The total meteor activity recorded for the month using the fundongle pro+ on the Graves frequency was 1116, there was a daily average of 36 with an hourly average of 1.5 The maximum daily count was 60 recorded on 19th March as was the max hourly count of 13.
This peak activity coincided with the peak activity of the Beta leonids, delta mensids and eta Virginids. Other minor peaks can be identified using table above.
A post on the UK Radio Meteor discussion group on the 19th flagged up a long duration event picked up by an observer at Emsworth in Hampshire., I didn’t find any visual reports of this daytime event.
Checking my logs this event had also been recorded at Barton, although spread across two screens.
The event was also recorded in Lincoln ( note the vertical, rather than horizontal waterfall screen)
Also recorded in Loughboro’
April is now with us and as well as several minor showers there is the Lyrid shower to look forward to over the 21/22 of the month , peak 11:00 – 22:00 BST on 22nd April. Moon in its first quarter should not cause any problems and for Lunar observers the Lunar X and V are at peak visibility around 21:40 BST on sun22 April.
February is not noted for its meteor showers, only a handful of minor showers and some daytime showers.
The radar reflections using Graves, gave a total count of 1140 meteors, with an average daily count of 41 and average hourly count of 2 (1.7), the max hourly count observed was 7 and max daily count 62. The contributions to activity from the Centaurids , Leonids and Capricornids are discernible on the charts below. March is another month of no notable shower, but lots of minor showers.
The main meteor activity this month around the 3rd/4th of January with the Quadrantids peaking in the early hours of the 4th Jan. Graves decided to go off line between 09:00 and 15:00 on the 3rd Jan. ( see red block on hourly plot).
The average hourly rate during the month was 2.2, with an average daily rate of 52.3. The variations during the month are due to the combinations of minor showers during the month, these are listed in table below.
I omitted the total count for 2017 in my new year post, this was 16,727with an average daily count of 46. It will be interesting to see what Andy’s magnetic collector picks up over the year.
below are the daily and hourly rates for meteors this month, average daily count of 48 and av hourly count of 2. No major showers,
Next month the Orionids peaking on 21st, the activity is already at 80+ counts with the Sextantids (daylight shower) and the Eta Cetids and October Cetids all active at the start of October.
September Meteors: Minor Activity
I have been experiencing difficulty detecting meteors at LRO.
Today, I obtained the following advice from my radio amateur friend, Bill Watson. As the advice is particularly useful, I felt I needed to pass it on:
If I can detect the GB3VHF Kent Beacon 144.430KHz at LRO then I will be able to pick up meteors from Graves’ radar. Simply put, if this signal can be detected by my meteor radio scatter detection equipment then I should be able to detect meteors adequately for meteor rate recording. The signal will not be large but it will be detectable. If I can not detect the Kent Beacon then I will not be able to detect meteors.
To detect the Kent beacon set receiver to 144.430KHz and CW mode. The beacon is always on (unlike meteor showers!) so if I can’t detect it then there is a problem with my set-up.
(Note Graves is on 143.049MHz and side band).
There is also something else that this test will do which is important – many radio receiver dongles are not accurate on their frequency and the user needs to determine an offset frequency. Once determined this can usually be entered into the software settings to correct the dongle’s frequency. If this has not been done then the frequency on the computer will be inaccurate and meteors will not be detected because the dongle is not correctly set to Grave’s frequency.
To determine the offset simply find the Kent beacon around 144.430KHz – any difference in frequency shown on PC from 144.430KHz is the offset frequency needed.
At LRO (Lichfield Radio Observatory) we are using Moxon aerial (homemade by Bill), FunCube Dongle Pro Plus, Spectrum Lab software, for radio meteor scatter detection from Graves in France.