Draconids meteor shower, Sat 8-Oct

Describe upcoming and future events here
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rwilkinson
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Draconids meteor shower, Sat 8-Oct

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:50 am

During my recent talk on comets, I mentioned that meteor showers occur when the Earth's orbit intersect the dust-trails left behind by comets.
Well, this evening we are set to pass through an intense dust-trail left by comet Giacobini-Zinner:
Estimates this time suggest the possibility of up to 10 shooting stars per minute during the peak of the storm. However a nearly full Moon may spoil the view, possibly drowning out all but the brightest meteors, reducing the actual observed rate perhaps 1 per minute – still well worth looking out for.

The peak is set to occur at 2000UT (2100 BST), and is ideally placed for observers in the UK. Activity is expected to increase from 1600UT (1700 BST) but at that stage the sky will still be bright in the UK.
See:http://www.meteorwatch.org/2011/10/02/d ... ower-2011/

Unfortunately it's likely to be cloudy in this area :cry: , but there's still a chance of detecting some of the meteors by radio-reflection methods.

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rwilkinson
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Re: Draconids meteor shower, Sat 8-Oct

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:22 pm

I set up a radio receiver monitoring for echoes from the French Graves RADAR transmitter (on 143.05MHz).
Reflections are obtained from the ionised trails left by meteors burning up in the ionosphere, and are displayed as spikes on a 3D spectrograph:
no3Dmeteors2.jpg
The 3D spectrograph display from the meteor receiver
no3Dmeteors2.jpg (77.09 KiB) Viewed 3698 times
This shows no spikes during a 15-minute interval this evening.
In contrast, look at the 49-frame sequence of these 3D captures which I took at 10-minute intervals yesterday afternoon and evening, when the meteor shower was underway:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rossjwilki ... ds2011.gif

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