Welcome to the Frontpage
Leonid Meteor Shower and Northern Lights 2014 Nov 17.9
The LEONID METEOR SHOWER rapidly approaches us on Sunday night/ Monday morning, Nov 16/17, when the Earth passes through dust and ice particles from comet Tempel-Tuttle. Meteor counts are estimated at around 15 per hour this year (or one meteor every 4 minutes). The crescent Moon is below the Eastern horizon until around 1am, so the skies will be fairly dark. The Leonid meteors are travelling swiftly at 71 km/s which can create fast green ionization trails 70 to 120km high in the upper atmosphere.
Leo, the meteor radiant, rises about midnight (can you see the backwards question mark framing the head and mane of Leo the Lion in the constellation photo above, with Regulus as the dot?). Big bright Jupiter is a white dot in front of Leo (not shown here). The higher Leo rises, the more meteors to be seen. Thus, the best time is after midnight until about 6am. The actual peak is Monday Nov 17 at 22:00 hr universal time or (minus 7) that's 3pm Mountain Standard Time, or 2pm Pacific.
The crescent Moon rises at 1am, just under the belly of Leo, which gives a glow which drowns out the fainter meteors.
Here's some notes from the IAU, The International Astronomical Union:
LEONID METEORS 2014
S. Nakano, Sumoto, Japan; and D. Asher, Armagh Observatory, write that it will be scientifically interesting to see if two enhanced streams of Leonid meteors can be detected -- both predicted to be at low levels if observable -- around Nov. 17.06-17.07 UT (due to material ejected from comet 55P in 1833 and seen in 1867, predicted by Nakano and Y. Kosai) and Nov. 21.3-21.4 (material from 1567, predicted by M. Maslov and J. Vaubaillon). The main stream of Leonid meteors is expected to peak around Nov. 17.9 (with full-width at half-maximum of a couple of days, via Maslov).
(C) Copyright 2014 CBAT 2014 November 16 (CBET 4016) Daniel W. E. Green
Chance of seeing NORTHERN LIGHTS:
The NOAA spaceweather site mentions there was a medium M3 solar flare on Nov 15, and predicts some Northern Light activity on Nov 15, dying down by the 17. So you may also see the Aurora to the North if you're at higher latitudes. The photo below shows a red/green Aurora spike seen against the Big Dipper stars, with the Skookumchuck Pulp Mill amber lights illuminating a plume of steam drifting up from it's stacks, glowing in the woodsmoke low behind the tree. Taken on Saturday night, Nov 15, from Wasa BC (in South-eastern BC).
Like meteors, the aurora occurs in the upper atmosphere, where gas molecules are hit by electrons from the Sun. The lower edge at 80 to 100 km is where nitrogen atoms glow crimson; midway between 100 and 200km, oxygen gas glows green, and nitrogen glows blue; and above that from 100 to 250 km, oxygen gas glows a dim red.
NASA's Night Sky in October 2014
What's up for October 2014. The sky at night this month from NASA JPL.
The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower
The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower should peak Monday night, the 5th of May at 07:00 Universal Time (or midnight Mountain Time, 11pm Pacific Time), but the best viewing times (due to the Moon and a low Eastern radiant) will a few hours before dawn Tuesday morning, around 4am to 5am.
At the peak, up to 55 meteors could be seen each hour. They're pretty fast, at 66km/second, often bright with very long paths, and leave persistent glowing trails.
The source of the meteors is debris from Halley's comet. The Comet's orbital path contains dust particles and ice (thinned out in spots by Jupiter). The Earth crosses the orbital path of Halley's Comet twice each year. In May we see it as the Eta Aquarid meteor shower and in October the Orionids.
The Eta Aquarids should be best seen early Tuesday morning. The Moon will have set by then, so it will be seen under a dark sky. The radiant is low in the Eastern sky, in Aquarius, which rises around 4am. So half the meteors will be unseen below the horizon.
For more information, see http://www.imo.net/calendar/2014#eta
College of the Rockies
Cranbrook, BC, Canada
49°31'03"N, 115°44'37"W, 940m
Comet ISON and Meteor Counts in January 2014
Preliminary results from Belarus-Ukraine observers :
are consistent with the hypothesis that earth did pass through Comet ISON’s long tail in January 7-23, and that this caused a significant increase in meteor counts as detected by observers in Ukraine and Belarus.
To read early report (PS this is a work in progress : http://1drv.ms/1gWhvHW )
Period January 7-23
Year Average Count
2013 / 20
2014 / 80
Call to Action : If any others can summarize their own results this would be very helpful.
Minsk Team write :
Уважаемые коллеги Александр и Bill !
Остаётся просмотреть снимки на 2,5 олл-скай камерах :-)
11 - 13 января - явно вырисовывается радиант "спорадических" метеоров из
региона Leo,LMi, UMa, UMi, Cam, Lyn, Cnc.
Мы просмотрели снимки олл-скай камер в интервале времени 10 - 17 января 2014 года.
Иван М. Сергей показал график радионаблюдений метеорного фона за январь 2014 - там хорошо просматривается повышенная метеорная активность 08 - 24 января 2014. Прилагаю графики радионаблюдений за январь 2012 и январь 2013
Может нам поднять снимки и просмотреть ещё раз в интервале 06 - 26 января 2014 ?
Bill, может у Вас кто-нибудь тоже проведёт подобную работу - просмотры снимков олл-скай камер и радионаблюдения метеорного фона
Анастасия Кулаковская, Валентин Таболич, Анастасия Таболич.
Dear colleagues, Alexander and Bill!
It remains to view images on 2.5 all-sky cameras :-)
January 11-13 - clearly emerges radiant " sporadic " meteors from the region
Leo, LMi, UMa, UMi, Cam, Lyn, Cnc.
We viewed pictures of all- sky cameras in the time interval 10-17 January 2014.
Ivan Sergei M. schedule radio observations showed meteor background for January 2014 - there is clearly visible meteor activity increased 08 - January 24, 2014 . Attached chart for radio observations in January 2012 and January 2013
Maybe we should raise the pictures and see again in the range of 06 - 26 January 2014 ?
Bill, can you hold someone too similar work - views pictures all- sky cameras and radio observations of the meteor background?
Anastasia Kulakovskaya, Valentin Tabolich, Anastasia Tabolich.
Northern lights photographed by Andy Gray on Nov 27
Northern lights photographed by Andy Gray on Nov 27 @ Northumberland, UKFebruary 27, 2014
This was the night of the COMET ISON perihelion and sublimation event November 27th. The cosmic wind would carry particles in a cone shape away from far side of the sun. So it is just a coincidence? But then maybe the sublimation happened over many days even a couple of weeks (not a single explosion) and perhaps particles were projected earthwards.
See : https://twitter.com/search?q=%23aurora&src=hash for todays aurora news as the earth continues its pass through Comet ISON's trailing particles.
An Incredible Visualization of Asteroids
An Incredible Visualization of Asteroids from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. 100,000 asteroids in computer generated simulation from Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/109664/an-incredible-visualization-of-asteroids-from-the-sloan-digital-sky-survey/#ixzz2uBBnO6fO
ISON - In Memoriam
New ANURADHAPURA meteorite analyzed for LIFE
Paul Wiegert University of Western Ontario predicts possible Jan 12, 2014 meteors?
Veteran meteor researcher Paul Wiegert of the University of Western Ontario has been using a computer to model the trajectory of dust ejected by Comet ISON, and his findings suggest that an unusual meteor shower could be in the offing.
"For several days around January 12, 2014, Earth will pass through a stream of fine-grained debris from Comet ISON," says Wiegert. "The resulting shower could have some interesting properties.
"Instead of burning up in a flash of light, they will drift gently down to the Earth below," he says.
Best site to keep current : Click here
4 Meteor Showers and Comet Lovejoy
For the past few weeks you may have noticed meteors shooting across the sky. There is the Geminid meteor shower and three other smaller meteor showers in progress. Although with the bright moon, the dimmer meteors aren't as easily seen.
The Geminids started Dec 4 and end Dec 17. On Sat Dec 14, at their peak they can give 120 meteors per hour. Fairly slow for meteors, they are travelling at a speed of 35 km/s. (That's still pretty fast. For comparison, the International space station orbits at 8km/s, and goes around the Earth in 90 minutes.)
There are three smaller showers in progress:
The sigma-Hydrids from Dec 03-Dec 15, peaked on Thurs Dec 12 with 3 meteors/hour, at speeds of 58km/s.
The Comae Berenicids from Dec 12-Jan 23 peaked on Monday Dec 16 with 3 meteors/hour, at speeds of 65km/s
And the December Leo Minorids from Dec 05-Feb 04 peak on Thurs Dec 19 with 5 meteors/hour at 64km/s
Don't forget Comet Lovejoy in the early morning around 7am, before sunrise, a small fuzzy blob visible between Hercules and Corona Borealis above the eastern horizon. The bright moon drowns it out currently, so you'll need binoculars or a telescope to see it and its slight tail.