Re: (meteorobs) An amazing night!
Yes, I too recorded a burst of activity starting near 10:00 PM CST local time, lasting several hours, from my NAVSPASUR Receiver.
This is the envelop of the recording from last night lasting over 5.5 hours. Starting near 10:00 PM, the activity came in several dense bursts, then dropped off after 2:00 AM. Each vertical peak is a meteor. There are a few over-dense registrations but they were unremarkable and of low amplitude. What is impressive is the high number of registrations.
High all, just a quick note before heading out to work.
I about dropped my coffee when I opened the radar screenshot folder. Starting in the early evening, I show a SUSTAINED rate of around at least 5 meteors per every two minute frame, some look to be around 10. Doing quick, public math, that's around 150 to 300 per hour!
A radar record for me. In the last four years or so of radar observing using the Space Radar, I've seen nothing like it. An occasional outburst, but NEVER such a sustained rate for the duration of the night.
- Geminids from Putnam Valley, NY . . . Dec. 14After a long day at the television station (and promoting the Geminids on all seven of my weathercasts) I arrived home at 11:30 p.m. somewhat worn out; quite frankly I was ready to head straight for bed, but the sky was clear and I already dragged out my long summer lounge chair from earlier in the day, so I got myself prepared for viewing some "pre-Christmas fireworks."I watched from my deck . . . not really the best place to observe because I was severely restricted to seeing only about 40% of the sky. I would see more from my front driveway, but it's Christmas time and only at this time of the year, we have a set of lantern lights running down the driveway to augment the rest of our holiday lighting display. Most of the lights are on timers and shut off at around midnight. But the lanterns (6 of them) automatically turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn. For most of the year, they're off because the bulbs are unscrewed. If I wanted to unscrew them last night, I'd have to get a ladder (each is mounted on a 7-foot pole) and that's something I did not care to do in the middle of a cold December night. By observing from the deck, my house blocked out most of the light emanating from the lanterns . . . though the trade off was being able to see less of the sky.I signed on at 12:40 a.m. EST and stayed out until 1:30 a.m. In my coat pocket I had a counter; each time I saw a meteor, I would click the counter. When I went inside to warm up, I saw that I had clicked off 26. After having a cup of hot tea I headed out again at 1:45 a.m. and remained until 2:25 a.m. I called it a night at that point, in part because I was starting to nod off and also because my winter coat had developed a very fine layer of frost! It was 26F and there was not a breath of wind. Skies were mainly clear, although occasionally a few patchy/streaky cirrus clouds would glide on by, chiefly from my north and west. Limiting magnitude was around +5 and transparency was rated as good-to-excellent. The Beehive cluster for instance, stood out like the proverbial soar thumb.Upon heading back inside, I saw that I had counted off another 14, making a total of 40 for 90 minutes of observing.Of the 40, 39 were Geminids. One was a slow sporadic that cut across Lynx and headed toward the Geminid radiant.As for the "Gems" they were all typical for this shower . . . moving with roughly half the speed of a Leonid or Perseid; at a more "leisurely" pace. The majority were between 2nd and 3rd magnitude. I did see three Geminids that could be categorized as fireballs . . . all three appeared pure silvery white, rivaled Jupiter in brightness (probably around magnitude -3) and left smoky vapor trains lasting about 3 or 4 seconds. Those three, in fact, were the only ones to leave any kind of persistent trail or train.And I noticed the "clumping effect." There were times when I'd see nothing for five or six minutes and at other times I'd two or three in quick succession. In fact . . . on my second outing, I had just gone through a particularly long lull period and was ready to call it quits at 2 a.m. Suddenly, "bing," "bing" "BANG!" Three bright "Gems" in less than ten seconds . . . the third and final one, being one of those magnitude -3 beauties I described above. It was as if Castor and Pollux were saying: "Hey . . . don't go yet! We've still have a few surprises for you." So I stuck it out for another 25 minutes.And I think I might have actually missed a significantly bright bolide. At around 2:15 a.m., I saw what looked like the flickering effect of what in the summertime we call heat lightning. Of course, no way that could happen on a mid-December night. I quickly turned around but didn't see any train or trail . . . so if this was a bolide it probably flared either behind my house or amidst a nearby barren tree line.When you take obstructions into account, the actual hourly rate at my location was probably closer to 60 or 65. In all, an entertaining, albeit cold show. I'll head out again tonight to see if there are any "bright leftovers."-- joe rao__._,_.___