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(meteorobs) 1999 Perseids Campaign in Xinglong, China



1999 Perseids Campaign in Xinglong, China

A meteor observation campain was organized in Xinglong station of Beijing
Astronomical Observatory during the Perseids. Participants are mainly
amateurs in universities whom I knew from an astronomy discussion board
in the BBS of Tsinghua University, and I also invited several experienced
meteor observers from Wuhan, Hubei Province.

First group of 6 amateurs (including 3 astronomy students of Beijing
Normal University) arrived Xinglong in Aug. 10, and had the best weather
there during the 10/11 night. I arrived Beijing from US in evening of
Aug. 10, and came to Xinglong with other 6 amateurs in Aug. 11. It's
still quite good before midnight, but gradually turned to overcast
before dawn. We had some discussions on visual observation (I already
posted one of my previous NAMN reports on the BBS as an example of
report) after dinner before observation.

Many amateurs in this campaign had less experience with meteor observation,
and some of them were not familar with the constellations. The campain
was divided by different groups from constellation recognization to
visual observation with standard IMO method.

3 observers in the first night (Ju Zhao; Yuying Song; Ying Wang) and 2 in
the second night (Ju Zhao; Yuying Song - data not recorded on tape because
of hardware failure) made visual observations with tape recorders, while
another experienced meteor observer (Wanfang Song, who has usually 60-70
hours/year meteor observations in recent years) made visual observation
with ploting in the second night. Radio observation was tested by Tianjing
Ouyang but seemed not successful for the second night.

2 more amateurs and about 10 members of Beijing Amateur Astronomer Sodality
(most of them had to work before weekend) joined us in Aug. 12 (the third
night) before the predicted Perseids maximum which was Aug. 13 05:00 local
time. Many of the Sodality members have good experiences with night sky
photography and they brought their telescopes etc. We had a short meeting
after dinner, and reports on radio obseravtion (Tianjing Ouyang), visual
observation (Wanfang Song), Sodality acativities (Rui Qi), comet
observation (Wen Kou), deep sky photograph and amateur activities in
Hong Kong (Yiping Chen from Hong Kong who visits Xinglong with another
amateur during this period) were given with many discussions. It's a
great pity that the weather for the third night was bad and there was
only about 20-30 minutes clear after midnight. Ouyang and an radio
observer from the Sodality brought their antenna to the observation
spot and all of us heard the radio signals (of a Korean or Japan
broadcast?) via meteors...  Wanfang Song was going to  start her first 
telescope observation of meteor here but it was failed because of the 
bad weather. Anyway, it's still nice to meet and talk with others
whom you may only knew of before on the net.

Most non-Sodality amateurs went back to Beijing in Aug. 13 because of
the accommodation limitation on mountain (some other meetings during
this short period), and the Sodality people stayed for one more night
(the fourth) which seemed quite hopefulless with overcast and rain
before midnight, but it turned to clear after midnight for some while,
much longer but not so stable as previous night, and I made some
observation under rapidly changing LM between 5.0 to -20! I did see some
possible Perseids (most of them were brighter than +2 because of LM)
with one -4 with 2s train.

For the Aug. 14/15 night (the fifth), it was still not good with thin
clouds and high humidity, and transparency varied rapidly. The LM was
not better than 4.0 for most of the time and I gave up the observation
and came to write this report.

I'll try to send each individual report to meteorobs from my account
later - it's the first time for them to write meteor observation
reports (except for Wanfang Song who sent her previous reports to
IMO via Purple Mountain Observatory) and it's really taking them much
more efforts on this than observing.

The non-Sodality amateurs attending the campaign includes Yanyun Chen,
Yuan Cheng, Yuwei Fan, Shengxin Lu, Wanming Luo, Tianjing Ouyang,
Wanfang Song, Yuying Song, Jun Wang, Nan Wang, Ying Wang, Xiangdong Wu,
Dan Xia, Ju Zhao. The Sodality members coming to Xinglong for the Perseids
includes Jiehong Yu, Rui Qi, Wen Kou, and some familar faces with names
not in memory by just the first short meet.

We wished that this campaign could be the first one to promote further
amateur meteor observations (not only limitated to visual) and
collaboration in this area.
-- 
========================================================================
Jin Zhu                           | Tel.: +86-10-62759888, 62756612 (O)
Beijing Astronomical Observatory  |       +86-10-68392030 (H)
Chinese Academy of Sciences       |       +86-314-5054767 (Schmidt dome)
P. R. China                       | Fax : +86-10-62759888 or 64888731
------------------------------------------------------------------------
email: zj@bac.pku.edu.cn or jinzhu@sun.ihep.ac.cn
WWW Home Page: http://vega.bac.pku.edu.cn/~zj
Pager: zhu@mail.263.net.cn (only Sub. line) OR +86-10-64256688 PIN 82333
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