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Ursid Meteor Shower Peaks Dec 21/22nd

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Author Topic: Ursid Meteor Shower Peaks Dec 21/22nd  (Read 630 times)
martinastro
Martin Mc Kenna
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« on: December 19, 2008, 05:48:24 pm »

The Ursid meteor shower activity usually runs from December 17th to 26th, but is typically low to undetectable early and late in this spell. The shower's radiant at maximum is near Kochab, the brighter of the two "Guard" stars in Ursa Minor, at 14h28m RA, +76 degrees Dec, so is consequently circumpolar from the UK, though highest towards dawn. The shower has been greatly under-observed, thanks to its proximity to the festive season, and frequently unhelpful Winter weather. This year, the peak is scheduled to fall between ~07h30m-10h UT on December 22nd, in strong early morning twilight to full daylight for the UK. Maximum ZHRs can be between 10-50 or so (they were ~30 for a time in 2000, 2006 and 2007 recently), though only at very rare previous returns had the activity exceeded ~10-15. The last strongest enhancements were in 1945 and 1986, with other lesser events in 1988 and 1994.

If the peak timing is unfavourable for Britain, at least there will be little moonlight, with the Moon waning to new on December 27th. It is worth noting though that some of the recent enhancements have happened at times other than this predicted maximum interval. The 2007 event happened about twenty hours after the equivalent interval then, for instance. The proximity of the shower's parent, Comet 8P/Tuttle, at perihelion on January 26th this year seems to have helped produce the unusual activity in 2006-2007, and may do so again in 2009, so it would be worthwhile keeping watch throughout both December 21st/22nd and 22nd/23rd this year in any better skies, just in case. Typical Ursid meteors are faint, and of slow to medium speed. Alastair McBeath, SPA Meteor Section Director.
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Roman White
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 08:20:22 pm »

I have some possibilites of clear sky on Dec.20/21/22. But I know in advance that the sky won't be perfect and the temperature will be between -5...-10C. So the maximum what I'll be able to carry out is a few hours single night observation.
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rjgjr
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 10:05:38 pm »

Oregon is supppose to have rain the next 7-10 days. All of these systems loop right on over to Tyler in the Midwest so I'll have to rely on the others to have clear skies. All we can hope for is the storm door to close in the Gulf of Alaska. Good viewing!
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 10:45:14 pm »

Will keep me eyes peeled but i suspect our weather will win again.

jonathan.
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Roman White
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 11:01:54 pm »

I did a short watch from 23:45 till 0:15 EET, through the gaps in altocumulus. Have seen 1 Ursid meteor, ~4mag, flying downwards to NW (from radiant into Draco). Unfortunately, very soon the sky became completely cloudy and now there are little chances to see something. Temperature is -8C by the way. (I took off my hat in the dark and it started to spark with electricity).  Grin
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Roman White
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008, 06:40:39 pm »

The forecast for today evening gave me an overcast weather & snow, instead I had no snow today and broken altocumulus in the evening, at ~19h the sky was even ~75% clear. But now it's again cloudy, so it seems that the total number of Ursids will be 1. (anyway better than nothing Grin )
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 06:42:42 pm by Roman White » Report Spam   Logged

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martinastro
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2008, 07:26:00 pm »

That's one more than what I seen Roman!. Complete cloud cover here.
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Big Dipper
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2008, 11:22:46 pm »

Yep, same here - total cloud cover. The next couple of days are not looking too optimistic either. Nice to be given such a detailed report of forthcoming events though - so thanks Martin.
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Remember:- If all else fails, read the Instruction Manual! Grin
 


Andy
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 11:50:46 pm »

I saw a late one this evening - bright meteor, mag 0 or thereabouts ran from east of Kochab most of the way to Capella. Camera was taking a narrowfield view of M45 at the time so no pics!
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Roman White
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2008, 07:37:50 pm »

The list of leaders among Ursid observers:

Paul.......1 ( 0 mag)
Roman....1 (+4 mag)
............ 0

 Grin  Wink

Are the Ursids still active?
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SkyWatcher 130/900mm EQ3, Bresser 76/700mm, 20x90 bino. and other, Olympus SP-550UZ
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