Month: July 2016

July 30/31 2016 meteor observations from North Florida – and the beat goes on…

Greetings yet again all,   It’s kind of hard to believe with all the clear nights we’ve had lately, but last night might have been the best of them all for most of the night!  The ACAC’s monthly star party was a smash hit earlier in the evening as members and guests enjoyed telescopic views of Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, the famous double star Albireo and several Messier objects.    In between, we caught several lovely CAPs, including a gorgeous -2 orange beauty that broke up and flared several times on its path!  Wow!  Then we went over to Butler Beach and observed for another hour or so seeing many more meteors of all types and enjoying each other’s company and the gentle sounds of the surf and the sea breezes.    We finally adjourned the star party a bit after 1:00 a.m. and I continued on by cruising down to Matanzas Inlet for yet more meteor watching under spectacular clear and pitch black skies.  The stars looked like hundreds of glittering diamonds strewn across an inky, jet black background when I got down there!  It was breathtaking!  The likes of which I have never seen better from anywhere on Earth.     I could easily see with the naked eye, dozens of etched and mottled dark dust lanes in the Milky Way superimposed across partially resolved star clouds, giving an almost...

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Alpha-Capricornid fireballs in July

Several alpha-Capricornid fireballs have been recorded over Spain in the framework of the SMART Project during the end of July. On July 27, a mag. -10 event was observed over the South of Spain at 2:24:57 UT. A video of this meteor can be found on Youtube: https://youtu.be/IGZiL2gcXVY Besides, two additional alpha-Capricornids were observed on the night of 29 July 2016 at 0:45 and 2:08 UT, respectively. The first event had a magnitude of -12 and the second one was even brighter  (mag. -13). This Youtube video shows both fireballs: https://youtu.be/jFgIsM-0F5g.   The photo below shows a sum-pixel image of the...

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2016 Perseids: outreach video.

In order to promote the observation of the Perseids in August 2016 I have prepared an outreach video. The video contains computer animations and actual footage related to this meteor shower. It has been released by the University of Huelva and the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in two versions: English and Spanish. The link to the English version on Youtube is the following one: And you can view also the version in Spanish under this...

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Obituary: Peter Bus (1951-2016)

Peter Bus (1951-2016) It was a sad day and a great shock when the editors of eRadiant heard about the sudden death of their colleague editor, the Dutch comet and meteor observer Peter Bus. Peter passed away on June 25, 2016. Peter was an important member of the editorial board and was very interested in meteor work aside from his great passion for comets. At the start of his career, Peter used to do visual observations from the J. C. Kapteyn Observatory near Roden, the Netherlands, Together with other famous Dutch amateur astronomers such as Reinder Bouma, Georg Comello and Henk Feijth (†1997). Peter started with systematic forward scatter radio observations in the 1990s. He wrote many articles about his radio observations in eRadiant. Further he took care of observing calls for comets brighter than magnitude +8. The last few years this had all become a bit less due to his deteriorating health. Peter was also very much appreciated among amateurs for his feedback. Whenever one asked him to check a paper, there was no doubt that he would reply with very valuable remarks and recommendations which improved the article to a higher level. He had also a great knowledge of the literature in the domain of comets and meteor work. The author could participate a few times together with Peter in the famous Leonid expeditions of the Dutch Meteor Society...

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Perseids 2015, a global analysis

Brilliant composite image of 110 Perseids captured, using a Canon 5D at ISO1600, 20 seconds exposures and a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens (set at f/2.2). Location: Balsam Provincial Park on the Kawartha Lakes. Image credit: Pierre Martin, Ottawa, Canada. An interesting Perseids return occurred in 2015, leading up to the 2016 appearance of the stream when a significantly increased activity is expected due to the presence of multiple dust trails from e.g. 1076 and 1862. On 13 August 2015 increased activity has been observed over North America coinciding with the traditional Perseid maximum (ZHR 120 – 140 instead of 100). Another short peak was observed from Europe around 21h UT. It is possible that this was just the end of the increased activity over Asia around 18h39m UT which had been predicted by Jérémie Vaubaillon or otherwise, an earlier than expected appearance of the filament which was predicted for 12 August 2015 around 23h UT (Jenniskens, 2006). Unfortunately this could be confirmed neither by radio, nor by CAMS observations. 1       Introduction In May and June 2015 I made a global analysis of the 2015 Lyrids (Miskotte, 2015). I used the data which had been submitted by many observers to the IMO. This was the first time that I made an analyses based on data not provided by Dutch Meteor Society observers. The result was rather satisfactory and I decided to repeat...

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