radar

May Meteors

The main shower in May was the Eta Aquarids, peaking on the 6th May (yellow star). The total number of meteors recorded using meteor reflections of the Graves signal was3498.

The hourly average was 5/hr with a max of 21/hr between 07:00 and 08:00 on 5th May.

The daily average was 113 meteors with a maximum of 148 on 17th May probably due to the May Arietids Daytime shower.

May has many daytime showers (G.W.Kronk “Meteors Showers- An Annotated Catalogue” ) and this seems to be supported by the data showing the  monthly total for each hour observed.

April Meteors

A total of 1571 meteors were detected in April, using the reflected radar signal from Graves.

The daily average was 52 with a maximum of 121 on 23rd April. The hourly average was 2 with a max of 13 between10:00 -11:00 on 23rd.

The months activity started off quieter than last year, although the peak activity was higher, the Lyrids peak on the 22nd April, although both years show a peak on the 23rd, this is probably a combination of the Lyrids and Pi puppids (18 -25 april, peak 23rd). The non directionality of the detector makes it difficult to ascribe any count to a particular shower.

The increase in activity at end of month heralds the approach of the Eta Aquarids which peak on 6th May, with the moon only a few days old.

February Meteors

 

 

Not noted for its meteor showers, February displays some minor meteor showers not noted for high visibility but detectable using the reflected radar signal from Graves.

The three element Yagi / fundongle pro+set up detected 1744 meteors in February. The hourly average was 2.6 / hr with an hourly maximum of 10 between 00:02 – 00:03 on 5th Feb. The daily average was 62.3 with a daily maximum of 79 on 4th Feb..

The hourly and daily plots are shown below as well as a comparison of daily counts for the last 3 years.

March is also a “quiet” month with no notable showers.

 

Pete Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January Meteors.

Based upon the reflections of the Graves radar signal 2546 meteors were detected in January.

The daily average was 82 with a maximum of 289 on 4thJan.

The hourly average was 3.4 with  an hourly max of 51 between 3-4 am on 4th Jan, there was a secondary peak of max 21 between 10-11 am on the same day.

The peak activity on the 4th represented the Quadrantid meteor shower peaking at 3-4am , Sky at Night (jan) magazine suggested that the secondary maximum would be due to the debris from the 1974 visitation of comet 46P which was visible during January.

There are several minor showers also present during January.

Below are the daily and hourly plots for January, the two distinct peaks are visible on the hourly count, the red bar indicates where Graves was off line between 17:00 on the 13th to 07:00 on the 14th.

The last plot is a comparison with the 2018 data.

November Meteors 2018.

Not much chance of visual meteor spotting over the month , but the radar setup based on the Graves 140.05 MHz signal continued to record data.

The maximum number of meteors detected over November was 2701. The average daily rate was 90 with a maximum of 135 on 20th of Nov.

The average hourly rate was 4 (3.8) with a maximum of 21 between 9am and 10am on the 20th.

The major shower in November is the Leonids, active between the 6 -30 with a peak on 17/18,  Also Taurids active between Oct 12 – Dec 2 with the Southern branch peaking on Nov 5 and the Northern Branch on the 12th.

There are also a number of other minor showers active over the month:

Andromedids  peaking on 27th

Theta Aurigids, 15th -21st peak 19th

Omicron Erianids  14th – 29th peak 22nd

Alpha Monocerotoids 13th Nov – 2nd Dec peak 21st

Chi Taurids peak Nov 2nd.

It is difficult to isolate any one shower in the data, but the hourly data shows a definite peak around the 20th, probably the sum of those showers active during that date.

The final chart shows a comparison of data from 2016 -2018, although levels vary , certainly the 2017 and 2018 data seem to mirror each other.

Next month sees the Geminid shower 6th – 19th peaking 13th /14th, with the moon set at around 22:00 there should be some good viewing around midnight. The Ursid shower peaks on the 22nd but a full moon will make observations difficult. Finally if Comet 46P/Wirtanen peaks as predicted it should be easily visible between the Pleiades and Aldebaran on 16th Dec.

August Meteors

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.

Perseid Shower 2018

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)

July Meteors.

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)

Moderate Activity:

Radiant Duration Maximum
Southern Delta Aquarids (SDA) July 14-August 18 July 28/29

Minor Activity

Radiant Duration Maximum
Alpha Lyrids July 9-20 Jul. 14/15
July Phoenicids (PHE) July 9-17 Jul. 14/15
Alpha Pisces Australids July 16-August 13 Jul. 30/31
Sigma Capricornids June 18-July 30 Jul. 10-20
Tau Capricornids June 2?-July 29 Jul. 12/13
Omicron Draconids July 6-28 Jul. 17/18

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.

April Meteors

The main shower in April is the Lyrids, but as the table below shows there are other showers present as well.

Major Activity:

Radiant Duration Maximum
Lyrids (LYR) April 16-25 Apr. 22

Minor Activity:

Radiant Duration Maximum
Tau Draconids March 13-April 17 Mar. 31-Apr. 2
Librids March 11-May 5 Apr. 17/18
Delta Pavonids March 21-April 8 Apr. 5/6
Pi Puppids (PPU) April 18-25 Apr. 23/24
April Ursids March 18-May 9 Apr. 19/20
Alpha Virginids March 10-May 6 Apr. 7-18
April Virginids April 1-16 Apr. 7/8
Gamma Virginids April 5-21 Apr. 14/15

Daylight Activity:

Radiant Duration Maximum
April Piscids April 8-29 Apr. 20/21

The total meteor activity detected for April was 1790.

The average daily rate was 60 and the average hourly rate 2.5

The max hrly rate was 11  during the hours of 9 & 11 on 30th April

The max dly rate was 93 on 23rd April with hourly counts of 10 during the hours of 4, 9 & 11.

Maximum activity for the Lyrids occurred during daylight as did a lot of this months activity.

The daily rate graph and hourly rate graph are listed below, the Lyrid max is marked on both, the daily rate for 2017 is also included for comparison, it would appear more meteors were detected this year. The month of May brings the Eta Aquarids over the weekend of the 5th/6th, which will be competing with a bright waning Gibbous moon.

Pete H