Author: Kai Gaarder

Fireball lighted up the southern parts of Norway

Figure  – The orbit calculated by the Norsk meteornettverk. On the 18th of December, at 16:37:07 UT, a bright fireball lighted up the southern parts of Norway. The event was registered by the cameras of the Norwegian Meteor Network on a quite cloudy sky. A better video of the event is taken by Tore Myhren from Lillehammer, and shows the fireball through some clouds near the horizon. The video can be found on this link: http://norskmeteornettverk.no/wordpress/?p=2865. These videos combined, shows that the meteor started at a height of 68,9 km, and exploded at a height of 26,8 km. The...

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Geminids 2017 – Pre-maximum night from Norway.

Introduction For a long time, I had been looking forward to the 2017 return of the Geminids. In 2015, I was impressed by the activity and the many bright meteors of fireball class. Also in 2016, I witnessed many bright meteors under a moonlit sky during the maximum. This year, observing conditions would be near perfect, and the only thing that could ruin the show, was bad weather. The weather forecast was quite depressing, except for one night. On the evening of December 12, the sky was clear, and I was excited to check out the activity more than a day before the expected maximum. Preparations I chose an observing site on an icebound lake, some 20 minutes driving from home. This place is far from any sources of light, and the horizon is nearly perfect. The temperature was very cold, about -14 degrees Celsius, so I was prepared for a freezing night. Despite the cold, it was a fantastic natural experience to lay down on the sunbed and listen to the sounds of the forest. The cracking of the ice sounded like a symphony from all around the lake, and sometimes from right under my sunbed! This made my heart jump a couple of times, but I knew the ice was thick enough. Anyway, it helped me not to fall asleep! Also, the screams of a nearby fox...

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Leonids 2017 from Norway – A bright surprise!

Introduction After missing the maximum nights of the Orionids due to bad weather, I hoped for better luck in the maximum night of the Leonids. November weather is generally very bad in Norway, but the weather forecast gave hope for a clearing in the morning hours on November 17. The IMO calendar had indicated two possible maximum times, in the early afternoon hours of November 16 and 17 respectively, both with ZHR around 10. Being hours away from these timings, my best hopes was hourly rates between 5 and 10 meteors. These expectations were met, but the Leonids were...

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Early Aurigid observations from Norway

August 26/27, 2017 – Observations from Norway   It is a rare event that a cloudless, moon free night falls on a Saturday, but this was the case on August 26. Although no major showers were active, I decided to head out in the field to watch for some early Aurigid meteors. This night I wanted to try out a new observation site, situated on a hill about 20 minutes driving from home. I hoped that this place would provide a better horizon, and maybe a slightly better limiting magnitude, than my usual observation site.   August 26: 20:45 – 21:45 I started observations 20:45 UT. This is too early for the Aurigids to reach a useful radiant elevation, but I decided to look for Antihelion meteors, and late Kappa Cygnids, while waiting for the Aurigids. The observation site lived up to my expectations, with Lm quickly dropping below 6,0, and with good horizon in all directions. Sporadic activity started out quite good, with 11 meteors the first hour. The first hour was highlighted with a 1 Magnitude, red, slow moving Kappa Cygnid, starting in Andromeda and ending up in Aries. This meteor was also captured on camera, making a nice composition with the Pegasus square and the Andromeda galaxy! Teff: 1.00 – Lm: 6.06 – F: 1.00 – RA: 345 – Dec: +55 Spo: 0, 2(2), 3(2), 4(2),...

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2017 Southern Delta Aquarids from Morocco.

A family vacation turned into something more! The Southern Delta Aquarids (SDA) is almost impossible to observe in the long summer nights at 60 degrees northern latitude. I therefore hoped to get at least 2 nights of observation of this swarm, during a long-planned family vacation to Morocco from July 13 to July 27. We would stay in a town called Martil situated on the north coast of Morocco, but light pollution here is too high to perform any kind of meteor observations. Due to this, I had also booked 2 nights from July 22 to July 24 for the whole family at a place called Caiat Lounge Refugee, situated at a dark site in the Rif mountains. As the time of departure from Norway approached, I was more and more troubled with the thought of leaving Morocco just before the highest activity of the SDA kicked in. I got permission from my always understanding and caring wife, called the airline, and changed the dates for my tickets back to Norway. This way I would get 5 more days of observation when the highest activity was expected! July 22 – July 23 On July 22, the whole family arrived at Caiat, and I was excited to check out the observing conditions. After rigging down some sunshields on top of the roof, I was ready for observations! The limiting magnitude...

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