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(meteorobs) Aug 11/12 Meteor Observations From California



Much to my wife's chagrin I abandoned the homestead again and drove to 
the the mountains to watch the Perseids under brilliant skies. I have 
the feeling she is beginning to curse the month of August as usually 
takes me away from home more than usual due to the high meteor rates. 
Anyway, it was actually clear at home but watching from 5.0 skies is a 
waste when 6.5 skies are available only 45 minutes away. Once at my 
observing site the light dome in the west was still not to bad and the
equivalent LM's were still outstanding. 

The session started out with a good show of Perseids and sporadics. Once 
again I was plotting any activity from Ceteus and anything else that was
interesting. Everything else went on tape to be listened to during the 
daylight hours. 

The second hour actually had a decrease in overall activity. The Perseid
rate climbed a bit but there were less sporadics to be seen.

At the beginning of the third hour I began photographing and the
Perseids seemed to respond surging from 21 to 37 this hour. The
photography setup was nothing fancy this time, just a fixed camera and a
wide angle lens aimed high in the northeast. A surprising 3 Kappa
Cygnids were seen this hour. These slow meteors are always impressive!

The fourth hour provided more Perseids but less sporadics so the
activity was pretty much the same as hour three. There were a few
exciting moments when simultaneous 1st and 2nd magnitude Perseids
appeared at 3:09. Four minutes later a nice -4 Perseid with a 15 second
train shot low into the southeastern sky. Finally a short -6 Perseid
fireball shot toward the west and hopefully was captured by the camera!

The last hour saw a slight reduction in activity and nothing brighter
than -1. It was still an enjoyable session as the temperatures were
warmer and the humidity not quite as bad as previous mornings.

August 11/12 1999

0700-0800 UT 0.98 6.65  1 CAP  1 KCG  19 PER  1 SIA  15 SPO  37 TOTAL
0800-0900 UT 0.98 6.68  21 PER  1 SDA  1 SIA  9 SPO  32 TOTAL
0900-1000 UT 0.97 6.66  3 KCG  2 NDA  37 PER  12 SPO  54 TOTAL
1000-1100 UT 1.00 6.58  1 CAP  43 PER  1 SIA  8 SPO  53 TOTAL
1100-1200 UT 1.00 6.41  41 PER  7 SPO  48 TOTAL

TOTALS:      4.94 6.59  2 CAP  4 KCG  2 NDA  161 PER  1 SDA  3 SIA  
                                                       51 SPO  224 TOTAL

The first column gives the period watched stated in Universal Time (UT)
which is PDT + 7 hours. The second column gives the percent of that
particular hour actually spent observing the sky. Time was lost for
plotting and data entry tonight. The third column gives the average
limiting magnitude estimated during each period with a minimum of 4
estimates using at least 2 and preferably 3 different sky areas close to
my center of view. The last several columns list the activity seen
during each period.

I ws facing due east at an altitude of 70 degrees during the entire
session. No breaks were taken during this session. CAP = Alpha 
Capricornids, KCG = Kappa Cygnids, NDA = North Delta Aquarids, NIA = 
North Iota Aquarids, PER = Perseids, SDA = South Delta Aquarids, SIA =
South Iota Aquarids, and SPO = Sporadic (random activity).

Beginning Temperature/Relative Humidity:   42 F (6 C)  62%
Ending         "         "         "       44 F (7 C)  66%

MAGNITUDES:

CAP:   0 (1) +1 (1)                                      AVERAGE: +0.50
KCG:   0 (1) +2 (2) +3 (1)                               AVERAGE: +1.75
NDA:  +3 (2)                                             AVERAGE: +3.00
PER:  -6 (1) -4 (1) -3 (1) -2 (1) -1 (11) 0 (11) +1 (37) 
      +2 (37) +3 (32) +4 (22) +5 (6)                     AVERAGE: +1.84
SDA:  +2 (1)                                             AVERAGE: +2.00
SIA:  +4 (2) +5 (1)                                      AVERAGE: +4.33
SPO:  -2 (1) 0 (1) +1 (6) +2 (5) +3 (12) +4 (16) +5 (8) 
      +6 (2)                                             AVERAGE: +2.96

Bob Lunsford
San Diego, CA USA
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