Popular Astronomy

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Stumble It More...

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 - September Perseid outburst : 9/9/2013

September is a quiet time of the year in terms of activity from major meteor showers. As a result, few visual observers carry out meteor watches during the month.

However meteor rates from the sporadic background are around their highest at this time of the year and several minor meteor showers are active. These have been well studied in recent years via a number of automated video systems.

Reports have been appearing on the IMO-News and meteorobs forums in the past few days from observers in several European countries which describe an unusually high number of bright meteors having been recorded between 21h UT and 23h UT on the evening of September 9th.

More detailed checks showed that this activity was originating from the constellation of Perseus and was most likely linked to a known "minor" shower, the September Perseids (sometimes also referred to as the Epsilon Perseids). It appears that this meteor shower was unusually active this year.

From the UK, Alex Pratt has reported that the meteor cameras of the NEMETODE network, operated by himself (Leeds, West Yorkshire) and William Stewart (Ravensmoor, Cheshire)  have confirmed the outburst. Between 20:00UT on Sep 9 and 04:00UT on Sep 10, the NEMETODE cameras recorded 23 individual SPE meteors, with 14 of these being captured between 22:00UT and 23:00 UT. Three of the meteors (absolute mags -2.9, -2.7 and -1.0) were dual station events.


Added by: Tracie Heywood