Author: Kai Gaarder

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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April 22-23 2017 Lyrid observations from Sweden

By Kai Gaarder The April Lyrids are the last meteor shower of the season, that can be viewed under dark sky conditions from these northern longitudes. After 2 successful pre-maximum nights on April 18/19 and April 20/21, I crossed my fingers for clear skies the next two “maximum” nights. Unfortunately, April 21/22 was completely clouded out from my observation site in Norway, and the forecast for the coming night, was also very uncertain. I therefore decided to hit the road, and drive some 225 kilometers further east, across the border to Sweden. Outside the small town of Sunne, I found an excellent observing site on a hilltop raging over 200 meters over the surroundings. After driving the steep and winding road to the top, I observed the first Lyrid when unloading my observation gear from the car at about 20:30 UT. It was a beautiful, reddish, slow moving meteor low in the northern sky. The next half hour, I used to set up my camera equipment and take some test pictures, while waiting for dark enough skies to start my visual observations. In this period, I observed another 1 mag Lyrid in Ursa Major, followed up by an amazing yellow/green -3 Mag Lyrid, that streaked across the sky from Draco and throughout Ursa Major, leaving a smoke train for several seconds! Unfortunately, my camera field was a bit too...

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