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Meteors, 26 October 1973 - 16 August 2021

10-16 August 2021, Perseids

Locations: Ipswich, Grundisburgh, Kirton and Nacton.

Reports by members of OASI.

Four observers reported observations of the Perseids in August 2021:

A selection of the best images is below. The images are displayed in chronological order: images from different cameras of the same meteor are timed within a few seconds of one another.

Note that the fireball in the image by Alan at 22:01:50 UT on 10 August was spectacularly bright. It was also imaged by members of the Dutch Meteor Society, who calculated the trajectory of the object as follows. It entered the atmosphere at a height of 100 km over Thetford, travelling at about 33 km/s. It reached maximum visibility of magnitude -10.9 at around 75 km altitude, before ending its visible flight at 65 km altitude over Watton, only 14 km from Thetford (a short, steep flight path). The object was a member of the annual Kappa Cygnid meteor stream which, although absent most years, gives a good show roughly every seven years (2021 is one of those years!)

20210810_220150_meteor_AJS_292.jpg Alan, 22:01:50 UT, 10 August.

20210810_220306_meteor_MRH.jpg Martin, 22:03:06 UT, 10 August.

20210812_224929_meteor_MRH.jpg Martin, 22:49:29 UT, 12 August.

20210812_224955_meteor_JMA.jpg James, 22:49:55 UT, 12 August.

20210812_232029_meteor_AJS_451.jpg Alan, 23:20:49 UT, 12 August.

20210813_0020_meteor_MW_2315.jpg Mike, circa 23:20 UT, 12 August.

20210813_005834_meteor_JMA.jpg James, 00:58:34 UT, 13 August.

20210813_010853_meteor_AJS_091.jpg Alan, 01:08:53 UT, 13 August.

20210813_010913_meteor_JMA.jpg James, 01:09:13 UT, 13 August.

20210813_021945_meteor_AJS_216.jpg Alan, 02:19:45 UT, 13 August.

20210813_022037_meteor_JMA.jpg James, 02:20:37 UT, 13 August.

20210813_025921_meteor_AJS_926.jpg Alan, 02:59:21 UT, 13 August.

20210813_025806_meteor_JMA.jpg James, 22:49:55:49 UT, 13 August.

20210816_020138_meteor_AJS_364.jpg Alan, 02:01:38 UT, 16 August.


28 July - 13 August 2020, Perseids

Locations: Ipswich, Grundisburgh and Sutton Heath.

Reports by members of OASI.

The BAA Handbook for 2020 predicted that the annual Perseid meteor shower would extend from mid-July to late August of the year, peaking on 12 August with a ZHR [1] of 80. The Kappa Cygnids annual shower was also active around mid-August, with a radiant relatively close to that of the Perseids, but with a much lower forecast rate, ZHR=5.

Around the predicted peak of the Perseids, the Moon exhibited a waning crescent phase, meaning that moonlight would interfere with observations made in the early hours of the morning, when the radiant was at its highest altitude, most favourably placed for observing.

Observers

Four members of OASI reported observations as follows:

Observations

Note that each thumbnail image is cropped to the meteor trail and its immediate vicinity. Click on the thumbnail to obtain a wide-field view. Image times are provided below each thumbnail.

20200728_2254_Perseid_AJS_7438.jpg 1. Alan, 28 July, 22:53-22:54 UT.

20200811_2139_Perseid_AG.png 2. Andy, 11 August, 21:39 UT.

20200811_2203_Perseid_AG.png 3. Andy, 11 August, 22:03 UT.

20200811_2224_sporadic_PJW.jpg 4. Paul, 11 August, 22:24 UT.

20200811_2330_Perseid_AG_2823.jpg 5. Andy, 11 August, 23:30 UT.

20200811_2331_Perseid_AG.png 6. Andy, 11 August, 23:31 UT.

20200811_234024_Perseid_AJS_1604.jpg 7. Alan, 11 August, 23:39:27-3:40:24 UT.

20200811_234008_Perseid_JMA.jpg 8. James, 11 August, 23:39:38-23:40:08 UT.

20200812_021842_Perseid_AJS_1761.jpg 9. Alan, 12 August, 02:17:45-02:18:42 UT.

20200812_021841_Perseid_JMA.jpg 10. James, 12 August, 02:18:11-02:18:41 UT.

20200812_215748_Perseid_AJS_2018.jpg 11. Alan, 12 August, 21:56:51-21:57:48 UT.

20200812_215949_sporadic_AJS_2020.jpg 12. Alan, 12 August, 21:58:52-21:59:49 UT.

20200812_220005_sporadic_JMA.jpg 13. James Appleton, 12 August, 21:59:35-22:00:05 UT.

20200812_223509_Perseid_AJS_2055.jpg 14. Alan, 12 August, 22:34:12-22:35:09 UT.

20200812_234448_Perseid_AJS_2124.jpg 15. Alan, 12 August, 23:43:51-23:44:48 UT.

20200812_234425_Perseid_JMA.jpg 16. James, 12 August, 23:43:55-23:44:25 UT.

20200813_000901_Perseid_AJS_2148.jpg 17. Alan, 13 August, 00:08:04-00:09:01 UT.

20200813_000843_Perseid_JMA.jpg 18. James, 13 August, 00:08:13-00:08:43 UT.

20200813_001202_Perseid_AJS_2151.jpg 19. Alan, 13 August, 00:11:05-00:12:02 UT.

20200813_001146_Perseid_JMA.jpg 20. James, 13 August, 00:11:16-00:11:46 UT.


Observational details:

  1. Alan. 28 July 2020, 22:53-22:54 UT. A faint Perseid in Camelopardalis. This was the first Perseid of 2020 captured by a member of OASI.
  2. Andy. 11 August 2020, 21:39 UT. A Perseid in Ursa Minor.
  3. Andy. 11 August 2020, 22:03 UT. A Perseid in Draco.
  4. Paul. 11 August 2020, 22:24 UT. A meteor in Cassiopeia displays a bright flare towards the end of its trail. The meteor was neither a Perseid nor a Kappa Cygnid, but a sporadic, its path running at right angles to radials from the radiants of both showers.
  5. Andy. 11 August 2020, 23:30 UT. A Perseid on the border of Cassiopeia and Camelopardalis.
  6. Andy. 11 August 2020, 23:31 UT. A Perseid on the border of Cygnus and Cepheus.
  7. Alan. 11 August 2020, 23:39:27-23:40:24 UT. A very faint Perseid in Pisces.
  8. James. 11 August 2020, 23:39:38-23:40:08 UT. The above Perseid again.
  9. Alan. 12 August 2020, 02:17:45-02:18:42 UT. A Perseid in Aquila.
  10. James. 12 August 2020, 02:18:11-02:18:41 UT. The above Perseid again.
  11. Alan. 12 August 2020, 21:56:51-21:57:48 UT. A faint Perseid in Andromeda.
  12. Alan. 12 August 2020, 21:58:52-21:59:49 UT. Faint traces of a bright meteor in the region of Serpens Caput. The meteor was a sporadic, not a member of the Perseid shower. Unfortunately, the object was largely obscured by cloud.
  13. James. 12 August 2020, 21:59:05-22:00:05 UT. A stack of two 30 s frames captures the above meteor more effectively. The flare near the end of the trail has illuminated nearby cloud. Note that the orientation of the trail appears considerably different to Alan's image, implying that the meteor penetrated to a relatively low altitude before disintegrating.
  14. Alan. 12 August 2020, 22:34:12-22:35:09 UT. A faint Perseid in Andromeda.
  15. Alan. 12 August 2020, 23:43:51-23:44:48 UT. A Perseid in Lacerta.
  16. James. 12 August 2020, 23:43:55-23:44:25 UT. The above Perseid again.
  17. Alan. 13 August 2020, 00:08:04-00:09:01 UT. A Perseid in Andromeda displays a trail and terminal flare. Unfortunately, the image is compromised by cloud and haze.
  18. James. 13 August 2020, 00:08:13-00:08:43 UT. The above Perseid again.
  19. Alan. 13 August 2020, 00:11:05-00:12:02 UT. A Perseid in Aries. Alan is an international member of the Dutch Meteor Society (DMS), and observing stations of the DMS at Leiden, Bussloo, Ermelo, Wilderen and Twisk also imaged the meteor. DMS observers estimated the magnitude of the object as -8.5, so it would have been visually spectacular were it not for the cloud and haze over East Anglia at the time.
  20. James. 13 August 2020, 00:11:16-00:11:46 UT. The above Perseid again. Unfortunately, the image suffers from false colour, in the form of a short violet streak running parallel to the true path of the meteor.

Triangulation of Path of Meteor Through Lacerta

The two images of the meteor in Lacerta on 12 August (images 15 and 16 above) contain sufficiently many background stars to enable the apparent coordinates of the meteor trail to be estimated. This in turn enables the path of the object to be estimated by triangulation, using the method of [2], with implementation based on [3] (slightly modified). The resulting path of the meteor is shown below. The path becomes visible off the coast of north Suffolk at an altitude of 122 km, travelling due SW. There is a bright flare off the coast of Bawdsey at an altitude of 81 km, and the trail terminates slightly further on at an altitude of 76 km.

20200812_234410_path.jpg

Footnotes and References

[1]

The ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate) is the standard measure for meteor activity. It corresponds to the number of meteors that a hypothetical observer would record in an hour with the radiant at the zenith.

[2]

Zdenek Ceplecha, "Geometric, Dynamic, Orbital And Photometric Data On Meteoroids From Photographic Fireball Networks", Bull. Astron. Inst. Czechosl. 38 (1987), 222-234.

[3]

Denis Vida, 2016, Python programme for meteor triangulation, https://github.com/CroatianMeteorNetwork/CMN-codes/blob/master/triangulation/MeteorTriangulation.py.


08-13 August 2019, Perseids

Locations: Ipswich and Grundisburgh.

Report by James Appleton.

The BAA Handbook gives the following predictions for the annual Perseid meteor shower in 2019:

Unfortunately, weather throughout much of the period of the shower was not favourable, with many grey days and cloudy nights. The Moon too presented difficulties, appearing full only two days after the peak. Nevertheless, the all sky cameras run by Alan Smith and James Appleton recorded a total of seven Perseid meteors (and no sporadics during the period). Table 1 summarises the details of the cameras:
 

Alan James
Camera Canon 1100D ZWO ASI178MC
Lens Sigma 4.5mm fisheye ZWO fisheye
Exposure In the range 57 - 76 s 20 s
ISO / gain ISO 800 Gain 200

Table 1. Details of cameras.

Table 2 summarises details of the seven meteors. Event times are estimated as the mid-point of the relevant exposure from James’s camera. The camera ran with 20 s exposures, generally approximately one-third that of Alan’s, so provides the more precise timing reference.
 

Time (UT) Meteor Trail
08 Aug, 02:01:38 N→S through Aries.
Colour transitions, two small flares en route and a prominent terminal flare.
Figures 1, 2.
Triangulated.
10 Aug, 23:33:48 E→W through Draco, terminating in the head of the constellation.
Colour transitions, a small flare en route and a slightly brighter flare near the end of the trail.
Partially obscured by the TV aerial on James’s house!
Figure 3, 4.
Not triangulated.
11 Aug, 01:45:39 E→W through Draco.
Colour transitions, two bright flares towards the end of the trail, after the second of which, the trail becomes much fainter.
Only partially visible at the N edge of the image from James’s camera.
The bright skyglow on the SW horizon is caused by the Moon.
Figures 5, 6.
Not triangulated.
11 Aug 02:03:19 NE→SW through Sagitta.
A small flare en route and a bright terminal flare.
Skyglow associated with the Moon has largely disappeared by the time of this meteor.
Figures 7, 8.
Triangulated.
13 Aug, 03:02:29 NE→SW through southern Pegasus.
Several changes in intensity, two flares en route and a terminal flare.
The central part of James’s image, to the E of the trail, is obscured by dew which formed on the acrylic dome protecting the camera: the image was taken before dew heaters were operational.
Unfortunately, Alan’s camera terminated its observing run, due to impending dawn, at 02:52 UT, just 10 minutes before the meteor!
Figure 9.
Not triangulated.
13 Aug, 21:53:28 Fireball through Hercules into Ophiuchus.
Several terminal flares.
The intense glow on the Southern horizon is due to a nearly full Moon. Streetlights are still illuminated and also contribute to the general sky-glow.
The meteor trail passed very close to Ipswich, contributing to its apparent brightness.
Figures 10, 11.
Triangulated.
13 Aug, 23:31:40 Fireball N→S through Pisces.
Large variation in brightness. In the image from James’s camera, the dot at the end of the trail is the star 20 Piscium, not a terminal flare. The star is lost in the haze in Alan’s image.
Figures 12, 13.
Triangulated.

Table 2. Details of Perseids recorded.

Figures 1-13 show the images recorded by the cameras. (The thumbnails are closely cropped around the meteor trails; the images themselves are the full-field images.) Varying degrees of contrast stretch have been applied to the images to improve the visibility of background stars. Where there are images from both cameras for a meteor, the two are aligned as far as is practical; however, the two fisheye lenses introduce very different distortions to image scale, so alignment is imperfect. The fisheye lens used at present in James’s camera is a rather cheap and nasty affair which suffers from chromatic aberration: this is manifest as a white/blue ghost trail in images 2, 6, 8 and 11. Under extreme conditions, Alan’s lens too can disappoint, and figure 7 shows a red ghost flare corresponding to the bright terminal flare of the meteor.

20190808_0201-02_Perseid_AJS_2623.jpg Fig. 1. Alan. 08 August, 02:01:38 UT.

20190808_020138_Perseid_JMA.jpg Fig. 2. James. 08 August, 02:01:38 UT.

20190810_2333-34_Perseid_AJS_2859.jpg Fig. 3. Alan. 10 August, 23:33:48 UT.

20190810_233348_Perseid_JMA.jpg Fig. 4. James. 10 August, 23:33:48 UT.

20190811_0145-46_Perseid_AJS_2990.jpg Fig. 5. Alan. 11 August, 01:45:39 UT.

20190811_014539_Perseid_JMA.jpg Fig. 6. James. 11 August, 01:45:39 UT.

20190811_0202-03_Perseid_AJS_3007.jpg Fig. 7. Alan. 11 August, 02:03:19 UT..

20190811_020319_Perseid_JMA.jpg Fig. 8. James. 11 August, 02:03:19 UT.

20190813_030229_Perseid_JMA.jpg Fig. 9. James. 11 August, 03:02:29 UT.

20190813_2152-53_Perseid_AJS_3750.jpg Fig. 10. Alan. 13 August, 21:53:28 UT.

20190813_215328_Perseid_JMA.jpg Fig. 11. James. 13 August, 21:53:28 UT.

20190813_2331-32_Perseid_AJS_3834.jpg Fig. 12. Alan. 13 August, 23:31:40 UT.

20190813_233140_Perseid_JMA.jpg Fig. 13. James. 13 August, 23:31:40 UT.

For the four meteors for which both cameras recorded a good image, James triangulated the tracks, using the approach summarised in [1]. Figure 14 shows the estimated meteor tracks and altitudes plotted in Google Earth. The tracks are:

2019_Perseid_trails.jpg Meteor tracks plotted in Google Earth.

Reference

[1]

Zdenek Ceplecha, "Geometric, Dynamic, Orbital And Photometric Data On Meteoroids From Photographic Fireball Networks", Bull. Astron. Inst. Czechosl. 38 (1987), 222-234.


13 August 2018, Perseids

Location: Newbourne Village Hall.

Report by Martin Richmond-Hardy and Andy Gibbs.

Members of OASI attending the OASI@Newbourne meeting on the evening of 13 August heard several prolonged meteor pings from the Graves radar. (A French space surveillance transmitter located near Dijon, operating on a frequency of 143.050 MHz.) At 21:30 UT, Andy Gibbs saw three Perseids in five minutes. Thereafter, the sky became progressively cloudy, and there were no further sightings.


10 August 2018

Location: East Ipswich.

Report by James Appleton.

The peak of the 2018 Perseids was forecast to occur at approximately 01:00 UT on 13 August. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was not encouraging and, around the time of maximum, only the evening of 10 August offered a reasonable prospect of successful observations. I took a sequence of images on 10 August, ‏‎21:39:15 to 23:56:26 UT, hoping to catch images of a few early Perseids. Unfortunately, I succeeded in recording seven satellites and no Perseids!


11-13 August 2016, Perseids

Locations: worldwide!

Reports by members of OASI.

Mike Norris, Ipswich. On 12 August, the forecast was for cloud by midnight so I did an early watch in my front garden - not the darkest venue! I saw five bright Perseids at the following times (UT): 21:51, 22:04, 22:10, 22:20 and 22:41. High cloud then rolled in and I retired.

Mike & Andrea Whybray, Nacton. On the evening of 12 August, we saw seven Perseids between 21:30 and 22:05 UT from our back garden at Nacton, looking roughly NW. The sky was clear but contrast was not very good due to thin, high cloud plus the setting Moon.

Andy Gibbs, en route from Ipswich to Rugby. On the night of 11-12 August, I was driving a train from Ipswich to Rugby. At 21:00 UT, shortly after leaving Ipswich, the skies were mostly clear and I observed a conjunction of the Moon, Saturn, Mars and Antares. I first observed a Perseid at 23:15 UT, through the light pollution of London, when I was just north of Wembley. I then moved under clouds. North of Milton Keynes, the sky cleared and was darker than previously and I observed four more Perseids, including a really bright one at 00:30 UT when I was near Weedon. I arrived at Rugby at 00:45. By the time I commenced my return journey at 01.40 UT, it had clouded over. Work commitments prevented me from maintaining any kind of watch for meteors on the following evening.

Paul Whiting, FRAS, Devon. 11 August: I saw the ISS around 21:20 UT but very few Perseids because of light pollution. I then moved to the back garden looking NW and saw about 10 Perseids over an hour or so, all quite short and fast-moving. 12 August: I only watched for 20 minutes before cloud rolled in, during which time I saw just one very long (120°) medium-fast meteor around 21:20 UT. 13 August: I spent the day at the Norman Lockyer Observatory for the South West Astronomy Fair. I observed many huge meteors over France as radio "pings" from the GRAVES radar equipment near Broye-lès-Pes.

Mike Nicholls, Vietnam. There was no chance of observations in Vietnam on 13 August due to cloudy skies and the occasional tropical storm - the best that I could manage was occasional glimpses of the Moon!

David Murton, Bucklesham. Below are my best photographs of the Perseids in 2016. The images taken on 11 August were captured through the clouds. There are a couple of interesting features in the images from 12 August:

  1. The image at 21:13 UT captured M31, the Andromeda Nebula (visible in the full frame but not the thumbnail).
  2. The lower portion of the image at 22:25 UT shows a satellite trail (not visible in the thumbnail). The meteor trail and satellite trail look clearly different.

20160811_2227_Perseid_DM_c.jpg 11 August 2016, 22:27 UT

20160811_2239_Perseid_DM_a.jpg 11 August 2016, 22:39 UT

20160811_2239_Perseid_DM_b.jpg 11 August 2016, 22:39 UT

20160811_2258_Perseid_DM_d.jpg 11 August 2016, 22:58 UT

20160811_2306_Perseid_DM_e.jpg 11 August 2016, 23:06 UT

20160811_2324_Perseid_DM_f.jpg 11 August 2016, 23:24 UT

20160811_2331_Perseid_DM_g.jpg 11 August 2016, 23:31 UT

20160812_2107_Perseid_DM_h.jpg 12 August 2016, 21:07 UT

20160812_2113_Perseid+M31_DM.jpg 12 August 2016, 21:13 UT

20160812_2214_Perseid_DM_o.jpg 12 August 2016, 22:14 UT

20160812_2223_Perseid_DM_i.jpg 12 August 2016, 22:23 UT

20160812_2225_Perseid_DM_j.jpg 12 August 2016, 22:25 UT

20160812_2304_Perseid_DM_m.jpg 12 August 2016, 23:04 UT

20160812_2329_Perseid_DM_n.jpg 12 August 2016, 23:29 UT

20160812_2331_Perseid_DM_k.jpg 12 August 2016, 23:31 UT


12-13 August 2015, Perseids

Locations: various.

Reports by members of OASI.

Mike Whybray Saw eight meteors in 20 minutes starting at 22:30 UT from the back garden of a pub near Stratford upon Avon. The show included one bright meteor leaving a trail. The sky was mostly clear but the view to the north was restricted.

Kevin Fulcher Observed at Shingle Street, on the east coast of Suffolk, a dark-sky location with no light pollution to the east. Dark sky. Stunning Milky Way. Saw approximately 40 meteors between 21:30 and 23:00 UT, mostly around Cassiopeia. One meteor, at 22:30:31 UT, on the border of Camelopardalis and Perseus, exhibited a green trail and corkscrew motion - see figure 1 below. (Canon 30D camera, 30 s exposure at ISO 3200, 18-55 mm lens.)

Mike O'Mahony Saw about eight meteors in a 30 minute slot around 22:30 UT at Felixstowe. Some were very bright, low, and exhibited long trails. One was a double, looked like two slightly separated; I have never seen anything like it before.

Paul Whiting, FRAS While en route from Shetland to Edinburgh, I saw approximately 12 Perseids.

Andy Gibbs Many Perseids at Newbourne, some with good green trails. Figure 2 below shows a Perseid trail to the north of Cassiopeia. Canon EOS 1200D camera, 18-55 mm lens, ISO 3200, 30 seconds exposure. Image processed with Canon Digital Photo Professional software.

David Murton It was a great night at Newbourne with crystal clear skies showing the Milky Way. The Cygnus rift was visible to the naked eye. M13 was really clear in binoculars with some hint visible of the structure of the outer arms. I took 270 frames and caught eight meteors. I used a 14 mm lens so the trails appear small, but the wide field of view helped to catch more! Figures 3-9 are 30 second exposures at ISO 3600, F2.8, Canon 1100D camera with Samyang 14 mm lens. Processed using the Canon DPP software supplied with the camera.

20150812_223031_Perseid_KJF_5114.jpg Fig. 1

20150812_Cassiopeia+Perseid_AG.jpg Fig. 2

20150812_224149_Perseid_DM.jpg Fig. 3

20150813_001744_Perseid_DM.jpg Fig. 4

20150813_002529_Perseid_DM.jpg Fig. 5

20150813_002813_Perseid_DM.jpg Fig. 6

20150813_003728_Perseid_DM.jpg Fig. 7

20150813_003939_Perseid_DM.jpg Fig. 8

20150813_004240_Perseid_DM.jpg Fig. 9


14 December 2014, Geminids

Location: Felixstowe.

Report by Paul Whiting, FRAS.

The maximum of the Geminids was on the night of 14 December 2014. Spurred on by clear skies that night, and despite the cold weather, I undertook a comparison of meteor rates observed (1) visually and (2) by radio. On the morning of 15 December, I observed visually for an hour from 01:00 to 02:00 UT and then listened for radio "pings" (see below) for an hour from 02:05 to 03:05 UT. I detected meteors as follows:

giving a ratio of 20 to 1 radio to visual observations.

Of course there are many sources of error here, including:

The preponderance of radio observations is plausible, as we only observe visually the larger meteors, those leaving an ionisation trail bright enough to be seen. Radio propagation effects can take place with even the smallest of meteors.

Radio Pings
In eastern France, on a decommissioned airfield near Broye-lès-Pes, there is a radar station called GRAVES (Grand Réseau Adapté à la Veille Spatiale), a radar-based space surveillance system. (It has, allegedly, upset the Americans by detecting one of their spy satellites.) GRAVES is a bistatic radar system using Doppler and directional information to derive the orbits of satellites. Its operating frequency is 143.050 MHz. To listen for radio "pings" all that is needed is a radio scanner with a Yagi aerial. (It is easy to fabricate a suitable Yagi aerial out of wood and copper pipe. The standard "rubber duck" antenna on the scanner is probably not sensitive enough). Point the aerial towards eastern France and tune the scanner to 143.050 MHz CW (Carrier Wave mode - normally used for listening to Morse code). A meteor incoming over France vapourises and ionises the atmosphere, reflecting the radar signal. If the reflected signal is powerful enough to reach the scanner, it sounds like a "whistle", either at constant frequency or a rising/falling tone. The whistle is generated as a beat frequency between the fixed-frequency oscillator of the scanner and the Doppler-shifted reflected signal, depending on the speed and direction of the meteor. The amplitude and duration of the whistle can give information on the size of the meteor and the length of its trail.


13 December 2014, Geminids

Location: Bucklesham, east of Ipswich.

Report by David Murton.

20141213_Geminid_DM.jpg

Observed 17:30 - 24:30 UT. There were many Geminids all evening. I captured the image on the right with a Canon 1100D camera and wide-angle lens.

 

14 December 2013, Geminids

Location: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding.

Clouded out!


12-13 August 2013, Perseids

Location: Newbourne.

Report by Mike Harlow.

I observed on the night of 12-13 August. I saw many meteors by eye but only managed to record three with a digital camera as the all-sky lens I was using doesn’t have great sensitivity and can only capture the brightest ones. (The focus wasn’t very good either and, of course, several bright ones appeared between exposures!) A really bright one, visible on the extreme right edge of figure 1, went off behind me and lit up the wall of my observatory. The glow in the top right hand corner of the image is from Ipswich.

Nick James in Chelmsford observed the same meteor and, by comparing the altitude and azimuth from our two sites, was able to triangulate the range and height of the meteor. It started to glow at an altitude of 110 km and a distance from my site of 200 km (see figure 2). Our collaboration wasn’t planned but illustrates what can be achieved with a suitable baseline: this might be something we could do with other astronomical societies in East Anglia? Neither Nick nor I observed the end point of the meteor; had we done so, it would have been possible to work out an orbit for the object.

When I was scanning through the all-sky images I noticed an optical transient ("flash") near γ Cephei, appearing on only one 30 second exposure. I’ve enlarged the relevant area in figure 3 to show it with and without the transient. It is probably a satellite flare.

20130812_Perseid_MJH.jpg Fig. 1. Bright Perseid.

20130812_tracks.jpg Fig. 2. Meteor tracks over East Anglia.

20130812_transient_MJH.jpg Fig. 3. Transient near γ Cephei.

Other members of OASI who independently observed the Perseids in 2013 included: James Appleton, Matthew Leeks, Gerry Pilling, Martin Richmond-Hardy, Paul Whiting, Mike Whybray, Jennie Wood.


15 December 2012, Geminids

LocationL: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding.

Clouded out!


11 August 2012, Perseids

Location: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Report by David Murton.

Having enjoyed a sunny day, all looked good for viewing the promised shower of meteors but, with increasing cloud cover during the late afternoon and early evening, it started to look like the 2012 weather jinx had returned! However, just as darkness fell, the clouds started to break towards the coast and stars began to appear, so I threw the reclining garden chair into the back of the car and set off down to Felixstowe to see who else had come out to brave the brisk easterly wind!

Arriving about 10.00pm I found a hardy band well wrapped up and sheltering behind the refreshment hut with Paul Whiting trying to get his new meteor detection radio software (early warning system!) to work. I think he must have borrowed the aerial from NORAD! Apparently all the elements, aerial, laptop, radio, software worked OK individually, just not together. After missing some visual sightings while staring at the screen, Paul decided to try again another day and to rely on his eyes for the rest of the evening!

As midnight approached, expectation grew for the promised high rate of meteors to become visible. Well, between the nine of us we saw a grand total of six before we called it a day at 12.15am! This may have been partly down to the restricted view of the sky due to us all being huddled behind the hut: Matthew Leeks went to Shingle Street and saw at least 15 during the same period.

The evening was, however, enlivened by two appearances of the International Space Station which passed overhead looking unbelievably bright (Paul even saw it earlier when it was still twilight) and much spotting of other satellites. (This was the first time that I had seen a satellite in the night sky.)

So, a reasonably successful evening, at least we saw something even if it was more of a drip than a shower and it was certainly warmer than it will be for the Geminids in December!

As a footnote, I stepped out into the back garden the following night, looked up and instantly saw a very bright meteor flash across the sky and a satellite pass overhead!


11 December 2010, Geminids

Location: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding.

Clouded out!


12-14 August 2010, Perseids

location: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Reports by members of OASI.

Pete & Nicky Richards We weren't sure of the start time of the OASI observing event, so went to High Road East just after 9.30pm on Saturday 14 August having been at the Felixstowe Carnival in the afternoon and early evening. There was no-one else there when we arrived so after a while we went home and observed from there instead. Some cloud rolled in after we'd been watching for an hour and twenty minutes. We saw only two meteors, both definitely Perseids; they arrived within about a minute of each other at around 22:05 UT.

Gerry Pilling I watched on Thursday 12 August. During the period 00:30-01:30 UT I saw four meteors which were clearly Perseids: three very bright with trails and one dim. There was nothing like the 80/hr advertised! It became too cloudy at the end of my watch to continue observations.

On Saturday 14 August, at the time I intended to observe, there was complete cloud cover and observations were not possible at this time.

Paddy O'Sullivan I observed from Kesgrave for approximately 20 minutes shortly after midnight on Thursday-Friday 12-13 August. The sky was fairly clear but there was much light pollution. I saw one bright Perseid at 23:30 UT. It was not quite a shower!

Raj Patel I may take a lead on observations! From 22:25-23:15 UT I saw eight Perseids. The first persisted in the east for almost half a second, and this encouraged me to wait around for further bright meteors. The next was almost 20 minutes later. All meteors after the first were much smaller and to the north. There was nothing like the predicted rate of 80/hr!

Mike and Andrea Whybray We indulged in two observing sessions of the Perseids. The first, from about 22:20-22:50 UT on Thursday 12 August, was in our back garden. Between us, we saw nine meteors of various sizes - none were spectacular, though one had a short track with a wide "fizzy" trail. The sky was pretty clear with the odd wisp of cloud.

Our second session was from 21:00-22:00 UT on Saturday 14 August at High Road East, Felixstowe, behind the tea hut. We were joined by Ralph and Andy Leggett, and (I think) Andy's sister. Between us, we only saw a handful of (maybe four) meteors, none of them big. The sky was partially cloudy. (Sorry we missed you, Pete & Nicky!)

Mike Nicholls I observed for an hour on Thursday 12 August. I saw just one dim Perseid and a bright sporadic meteor. However, there was approximately 50% cloud cover during most of the period.

Ben Powis On Thursday 12 August I went outside at approximately 00:30 UT and saw about 15 Perseids in 45 minutes. On Saturday 14 August, I went to High Road East, Felixstowe to watch for meteors, but no-one else was there, so I went on to the Clifflands car park: there, I saw only one Perseid in a period of about an hour.


12 December 2009, Geminids

Location; High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding and James Appleton.

Clouded out!


15 August 2009, Perseids

Location: Newbourne Village Hall.

Organised by: Roy Gooding.

During an informal watch, several Perseids were spotted (including one real gem) but there were more sporadic meteors than Perseids.


13 December 2008, Geminids.

Location: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding and James Appleton.

Clouded out!


16 August 2008, Perseids

Location: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding.

Clouded out!


11 August 2007, Perseids

Location: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding and James Appleton.

OASI held a very successful meteor watch for the 2007 Perseids. The BAA Handbook for 2007 predicted that the peak of the shower would occur at 02:00 UT (3.00am) on Monday 13 August, with a zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) of 80. However, observations on a Saturday evening rather than a Monday morning proved more attractive to members of OASI with family and employment responsibilities, even if this was predicted to result in a lower peak rate of meteors!

The observers used the location on High Road East, Felixstowe (behind the beach huts) which has been employed in recent meteor watches. The first observers arrived at around 19:00 UT, with more arriving until 20:30 UT. They made themselves comfortable in preparation for the watch as best they could in a variety of reclining chairs. The sunny weather during the day resulted in an onshore breeze which provided a significant wind-chill. As a result, despite the fact that it was peak summer, observers were to be found huddling under blankets, swaddled in heavy-duty anoraks, and generally employing serious measures to keep warm! The meteor watch finished at 23:05 UT.

Nicky Gillard and James Appleton recorded event times and notes on observations of meteors during the evening. The following list of meteor observations is a compilation/reconciliation of the two records, based primarily on Nicky's. Times are UT. S=sporadic and P=Perseid. The observer first spotting each meteor is recorded, where known.
 

20:24:?? P, east-ish to west-ish. First meteor!
20:53:?? P, estimated mag 3.
21:00:?? S, heading for Perseus, spotted by Pete Richards.
21:03:?? P.
21:05:?? P.
21:06:?? S.
21:07:?? P, overhead, east to west.
21:08:?? P, overhead.
21:15:05 P, overhead, east to west.
21:22:20 P, bright with train lasting approx. 1 sec.
21:23:25 P, spotted by Martin Cook.
21:23:55 P.
21:25:17 P, bright with persistent train (1 - 2 sec.) & coma.
21:25:55 P, spotted by Martin Cook.
21:30:40 P.
21:31:02 P.
21:32:20 Uncertain P or S.
21:33:05 S, south to north.
21:39:40 P, spotted by Martin Cook & Pete Richards.
21:40:25 S.
21:41:41 P, quite slow, just south of Vega.
21:43:?? P.
21:46:55 P, just below Lyra. Train persisted for about 1 sec.
21:48:25 S, spotted by Martin Cook.
22:51:?? S, spotted by Roy Gooding.
22:57:10 P, fast.
22:01:05 P, bright, spotted to the north by James Appleton.
22:02:55 S.
22:04:40 S, spotted by Paul Whiting.
22:04:20 P.
22:07:40 P, bright.
22:08:?? P, faint and very fast.
22:09:10 P.
22:12:09 S.
22:13:20 P, bright.
22:15:?? S.
22:15:20 P.
22:18:15 S.
22:20:?? P.
22:21:25 P, with train.
22:22:30 S.
22:22:35 P.
22:24:00 P, passed from Delphinus into Aquila.
22:30:36 P.
22:31:05 S, bright.
22:36:30 P? Slow.
22:38:10 S, moved towards Perseus, left train.
22:41:30 P.
22:44:00 P? Passed by Deneb.
22:47:50 P.
22:50:50 S.
22:58:25 P. Last meteor seen.

Meteor rates between the first and last meteors observed were 6 sporadic per hour plus 15 Perseids per hour.

At 21:44 the observers witnessed a passage of the International Space Station plus docked space shuttle (STS118) begin above the western horizon, pass overhead and proceed towards the eastern horizon. The object became noticeably brighter than Jupiter (mag -2.3) as it rose to high altitude and then faded as it headed for the eastern horizon. It became too dark to see, flickered visibly briefly and then became finally invisible at an altitude of approximately 30°.

Late in the evening sky conditions and the relative absence of light pollution made for enjoyable naked-eye stargazing. Both M31 and the Double Cluster in Perseus were easily visible to the naked eye using averted vision. The location offering an unobstructed SE horizon, the summer constellations of Sagittarius, Capricornus and Aquarius, often difficult to locate from built-up urban locations, were well seen. The Milky Way was prominent, and the rift in Cygnus was quite obvious.

OASI members present were (in alphabetic order): James Appleton, Martin Cook, Nicky Gillard, Roy Gooding, Pete Richards, Eric Sims, John Spicer plus guest, Paul Whiting, and Michael Whitman-Rivers plus guest.

Members of OASI reported independent observations of the Perseids as follows:


09 December 2006, Geminids

Location: High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding and James Appleton.

The Geminids maximum for 2006 was predicted for 05:00 UT on 14 December. OASI organised a meteor watch on the preceding Saturday, 09 December. Observations proceeded as follows (times are UT).

20:10 Arrived and set up. The sky was moonless and very clear. The Milky Way was easily visible.
20:30 The Moon appeared on the SE horizon, shining through a layer of haze. It presented a lovely deep orange colour. The observers could almost discern the Moon's altitude visibly increase as it rose above the horizon.
20:51 Martin Cook observed a Geminid heading from Gemini to the Pleiades. Duration <1 second. Mag 4?
21:03 Martin Cook observed a sporadic meteor heading from Ursa Major to Gemini. Very brief duration.
21:42 Geminid heading from middle of Gemini due South. Duration ~0.5 seconds. Mag 2?
22:25 Observations stopped.

At the start of observations the faintest star visible in the Hyades was mag 6. Shortly before the end of observations, after the Moon rose, the faintest star visible in the Hyades was mag 5.

During the session the those present observed with a variety of binoculars (8x40, 10x50): M31, M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M42, M45 (Pleiades), Hyades and Sword Handle clusters. M33 doubtful.

Observers were: James Appleton, Martin Cook, Nicky Gillard, Roy Gooding, Gerry Pilling, Pete Richards, C & G Shepherd, Eric Sims, John & Carol Spicer and Paul Whiting.


12 August 2006, Perseids

High Road East, Felixstowe.

Organised by: Roy Gooding.

The Perseids maximum for 2006 was predicted for 20:00 UT on 12 August. Circumstances were not favourable, however, as the Moon was only three days past full. In the event, thick cloud and intermittent heavy rain in Ipswich throughout 12 August led to the OASI meteor watch being called off in the early evening. However, two members of the Society did attempt observations as follows:


17-19 November 1999, Leonids

Observing reports


16-18 November 1998, Leonids

Observing reports


12 August 1997, Perseids

Location: Nacton.

Organised by: Pete Richards.

Report by Pete Richards.

The primary peak of meteor activity for 1997 was predicted for 06:00 UT on 12 August, with a possibility that it could be up to four hours earlier. In any case, observers were expecting a good display of meteors in the evening of 11 August with an increase in activity after midnight, around the time the Moon set. The night of 12-13 August was also expected to be very good.

Mike Harlow planned to correlate observations of the Perseids by members of OASI in Suffolk with those made in Kent by Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society. (CMHAS proposed a joint meteor watch when they visited Orwell Park Observatory in July).

It was reasonably clear in Nacton around 00:00 UT on 13 August, although there was some haze and high cloud. However, over a space of 30 minutes, Pete counted only six meteors, none of which were bright. Observers in the US saw a very good display in the early hours of 12 August, so it seems that the Perseids peaked sharply when it was daylight in the UK and had declined dramatically by the time it was dark again here.


20 October 1990, Orionids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Observations not recorded.


11 August 1990, Perseids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Report by Roy Gooding.

The observers met at The Ship, Levington and then moved on to Levington Creek, which has been a site used for meteor watches for many years. Unfortunately, over the years conditions at Levington Creek have deteriorated due to the increase in light pollution from Felixstowe Docks, and this will probably be the last meteor count at the site unless no alternative can be found.

Sky conditions were poor: the limiting magnitude varied between 2 and 3 with patchy cloud. The observers recorded the following meteors (times in UT):
 

23:16 mag -2, finished near Vega, slight trail.
23:18 mag ?
23:22 mag -1, shower.
23:40 mag 1, seen through cloud.
23:48 mag 1.
23:50 mag 1, in Cygnus.
23:53 mag 2, sporadic seen to the South.
23:59 mag ?, below Cassiopeia.
00:01 mag -1, shower.
00:08 mag ?, shower.
00:08 mag -2, shower, trail.
00:12 mag 3, shower.
00:24 mag -1, shower, through Hercules and Draco.
00:32 mag 1, shower.
00:34 mag ?, sporadic.

Observers were: David Barnard, Mike Barriskill, Martin & Judith Cook, Roy Gooding, Pete Richards, Eric Sims, Alan Smith, Elaine Ward.


11 August 1989, Perseids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: Roy Gooding.

Observations not recorded.


22 April 1987, Lyrids

Location: ?

Observations not recorded.


12 August 1986, Perseids

Location: 15 km North of Ipswich.

Report by Roy Gooding.

At 20:15 UT Alan Smith and I set off in search of a dark location to observe the Perseids. We found a suitable site some 15 km north of Ipswich, in a grassy field approximately 150 m off the road between Pettaugh and Debenham. The site had a clear northern horizon with only two houses in view.

Before it became fully dark, Alan re-assembled his camera clock drive for the first time since his return from Australia. It took several minutes to find Polaris as the sky was still very bright. The sky didn't become dark enough for observing until nearly 21:00 UT.

Around 21:30 UT, Alan noticed that a vehicle about half a kilometre distant was floodlighting an adjacent field with a powerful hand-held spotlight. During the next 15 minutes the vehicle drew ever nearer until the spotlight beam eventually reached our observing site and the vehicle passed by without as much as an inquisitive pause. We concluded that the local populace must be familiar with the sight of cars parked there, especially at night!

Up to the time we left at 22:45 UT, when the sky started clouding over, we saw some 30 meteors including four sporadics. Most of the Perseids were between magnitudes 2 and 0 and many left long trails that persisted for several seconds. About half a dozen of these trails went across the northern part of Andromeda. We also witnessed numerous low flying aircraft and two satellites in polar orbits.


12 August 1985, Perseids

Location: East Runton, Norfolk.

Report by Eric Sims.

By midnight on 11-12 August 1985, the sky was clear and as black as pitch. The Milky Way was like a ribbon of lace. At exactly midnight UT I saw, to the south, a fireball brighter than Venus. Then I got to counting meteors. Between midnight and 01:00 UT I counted 12 meteors even though I was trying to set up my telescope (to observe the graze of ZC869 at 01:38 UT). Between 02:00 and 03:00 UT, I counted eight more meteors.


21 April 1984, Lyrids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


10 December 1983, Ursids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


13 August 1983, Perseids

Location: West Ipswich.

Organiser: Mike Barriskill.

Recorded 22 Perseids and one sporadic meteor during the period 02:15 - 03:15 UT.


07 May 1983, Eta Aquarids

Location: Tasmania Road, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


08 February 1983, Alpha Aurigids

Location: Orwell Park Observatory.

Observations not recorded.


21 & 22 December 1982, Ursids

Location: Orwell Park Observatory.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


16 October 1982, Taurids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


18 September 1982, Alpha Aurigids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


14 August 1982, Perseids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Clouded out. However, four members attended and held an impromptu barbeque instead of a meteor watch!


24 April 1982, April Lyrids

Location: ?

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


03 January 1982, Quadrantids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Clouded out.


12 December 1981, Geminids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

The nearly full moon hampered observations and the observers recorded only two meteors, one Geminid and one sporadic. This contrasted sharply with the total of 281 meteors recorded at the Geminid count in 1980! The night turned out to be one of the coldest for a long time, with temperatures plummeting to -30°C in places in the UK.


17 October 1981, Orionids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


08 August 1981, Perseids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


25 July 1981, Delta Aquarids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


20 June 1981, June Lyrids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

The night sky did not become very dark until well after midnight UT. The observers recorded only a few meteors and ended the watch at 01:35 UT.


03 January 1981, Quadrantids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Abandoned after an hour due to thick cloud, cold winds, and a prediction of a cloudy night ahead.


13 December 1980, Geminids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Six members of OASI gathered for a Geminids meteor count. The turnout was disappointing for the night of the predicted maximum (peak hourly rate of 50 predicted for December 14.2). However, it turned out to be a night to remember! Altogether the observers recorded 281 meteors including two spectacular fireballs of magnitude -5. The meteor watch started at 20:58 UT and continued to 01:30 UT with only a short break from 22:45 - 23:15 UT. Undoubtedly, many more meteors would have been recorded had it not been for cloud which invaded from the south-west.


08 November 1980, Taurids & Cepheids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Clouded out.


18 October 1980, Orionids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


09 August 1980, Aquarids & Perseids

Location: West Hanningfield, Chelmsford.

Report by Roy Cheesman.

Observed for an hour after midnight. Saw 14 bright Perseids plus many faint ones.


09 August 1980, Aquarids & Perseids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Cloudy apart from about ten minutes around midnight. Some new faces attended this meteor watch and hopefully were not too disappointed by the experience!


14 June 1980, June Lyrids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


03 May 1980, Eta Aquarids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Nine members of OASI attended and recorded a total of 15 meteors, of which approximately half were shower.


20 April 1980, April Lyrids

Location: West Hanningfield, Chelmsford.

Report by Roy Cheesman.

During a one-hour watch, together with two fellow observers I recorded 14 satellites, three shower meteors and two sporadic meteors.


19 April 1980, April Lyrids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Cancelled due to bad weather.


15 March 1980, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Orwell Park Observatory.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


22 December 1979, Ursids

Location: Orwell Park Observatory.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


15 December 1979, Geminids

Location: Orwell Park Observatory.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


17 November 1979, Leonids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


20 October 1979, Orionids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


11 August 1979, Perseids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Six people attended but the weather was unfavourable so instead of a meteor watch, the would-be observers indulged in an impromptu game of football at Levington Creek. Illumination was provided by car headlights!


22 April 1979, April Lyrids

Location: The Ship, Levington.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


20 August 1978, Kappa Cygnids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


12 August 1978, Perseids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


17 June 1978, June Lyrids

Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


11 March 1978, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Five members of OASI attended the count but it was a total wash out - the clouds rolled in as the observers arrived on site!


11 February 1978, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


04 January 1978, Quadrantids

Location: Orwell Park Observatory.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Started with 15 people, but due to cold weather this declined to six by the end of the count. Counted two meteors: one Quadrantid and one sporadic.


03 January 1978, Quadrantids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Four people attended. Totally cloudy with rain.


23 December 1977, Ursids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Six people attended. Totally clouded out.


Mid-December 1977, Geminids

Location: Orwell Park Observatory.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observed four Geminids and four sporadic meteors.


? November 1977, Leonids

Location: ?

Organiser: David Barnard.

Attended by two members of OASI. Completely clouded out.


04 November 1977, Taurids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


22 October 1977, Orionids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


03 September 1977, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Attended by five members of OASI. Observed 13 meteors.


20 August 1977, Kappa Cygnids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Clouded out.


13 August 1977, Perseids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Clouded out.


23-29 July 1977, Week Long Meteor Count

Location: Thorpeness, Suffolk.

Organisers: David Barnard & Nigel Gage.

Interest waned as the date approached and the watch was cancelled.


16 July 1977, Alpha Capricornids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Four members attended. Clouded out.


18 June 1977, June Lyrids

Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Totally overcast and no-one attended!


07 May 1977, Eta Aquarids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Six members attended. Totally washed out by heavy rain.


23 April 1977, April Lyrids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Had hoped for joint display of April Lyrids plus possible meteor shower associated with Earth's passage within 0.01 AU of the ascending node of Comet 1977b, P/Grigg-Skjellerup. Unfortunately, observations were clouded out.


26 March 1977, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Clouded out.


19 February 1977, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Attended by three members of OASI. Sky perfectly clear all evening.


29 January 1977, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


03 January 1977, Quadrantids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observed three meteors and a fireball. Finished the count at midnight (before freezing to death!) and thus missed a magnitude -10 fireball spotted over Lincolnshire at 04:00 UT on 04 January.


22 December 1976, Ursids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


11 December 1976, Geminids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Three members of OASI attended. Sub-zero temperatures meant that the observers had to stand up and keep moving to avoid frostbite! The observers saw nine meteors, most of them Geminids, including a magnitude -2 Geminid with a persistent train. Observations were hampered by a 22 day old Moon.


17 November 1976, Leonids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Bad weather prevented observations.


06 November 1976, Taurids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Bad weather prevented observations.


22 October 1976, Orionids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Bad weather prevented observations.


25 September 1976, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Two members attended. Clouded out.


20 August 1976, Kappa Cygnids

Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


07 August 1976, Perseids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Eight members of OASI attended and observed for one and three quarter hours. There was a nearly full moon (95%, waxing), which washed out the sky, and the observers counted only 17 meteors.


31 July 1976, Alpha Capricornids

Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Nine members of OASI attended and observed under a crystal-clear sky. They counted six Alpha Capricornids and 40 sporadic meteors during a two hour period.


24 July 1976, Delta Aquarids and Capricornids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Eight people attended, and observed from 21:50 - 23:39 UT. They recorded four Delta Aquarids and 30 sporadic meteors.


12 June 1976, June Lyrids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Attended by seven members of OASI, who observed for one and a half hours. The observers counted 11 Lyrids and five sporadic meteors.


22 May 1976, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


24 April 1976, April Lyrids

Location: Martlesham, Near Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Three observers attended the count. The intended observing site was Foxhall Heath but, on arrival there, the observers found Foxhall Stadium locked, so found an alternative site at Martlesham. The party observed from a little after 21:00 UT until 22:30 UT, during which time they counted four Lyrids and four sporadic meteors.


27 March 1976, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Only three members of OASI attended - the observation was clouded out.


14 February 1976, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


31 January 1976, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


03 January 1976, Quadrantids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Four observers counted 67 meteors.


20 December 1975, Ursids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Cancelled due to trip to Norwich.


13 December 1975, Geminids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Four observers enjoyed clear, frosty skies and watched for just over two hours, during which time they counted 53 Geminids and 10 sporadic meteors.


29 November 1975, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


15 November 1975, Leonids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Washed out by torrential rain.


08 November 1975, Taurids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Clouded out.


18 October 1975, Orionids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: David Barnard.

Visibility of meteors affected by moonlight: only eight meteors recorded.


20 September 1975, Watch For Sporadic Meteors

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Observations not recorded.


23 August 1975, Kappa Cygnids

Location: ?

Clouded out.


09 August 1975, Perseids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Ten members of OASI plus nine visitors attended. Limiting magnitude varied from 3.5 - 4.0. Lightning to the east compromised the observations; however the observers recorded 34 meteors: 29 shower plus five sporadic. At 23:40 UT the clouds thickened and the observers abandoned the count.


02 August 1975, Alpha Capricornids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

The night was crystal clear (limiting magnitude estimated as 5.5). Six members of OASI plus five visitors attended. The observers recorded 56 meteors: 32 shower and 24 sporadic.


26 July 1975, Delta Aquarids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Eight members of OASI attended, but the count was abandoned at 23:30 UT due to bad weather.


14 June 1975, June Lyrids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Observations not recorded.


03 May 1975, Eta Aquarids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Weather unfavourable.


19 April 1975, April Lyrids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Recorded "a lot of meteors".


14 December 1974, Geminids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Observations not recorded.


16 November 1974, Leonids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Observations not recorded.


09 November 1974, Taurids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Note: Meteor count held at request of BAA Meteor Section Director. Observations not recorded.


19 October 1974, Orionids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Steve Flory.

Observations not recorded.


10 August 1974, Perseids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organisers: Steve Flory & David Barnard.

Observations not recorded.


27 July 1974, Delta Aquarids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organisers: Steve Flory & David Barnard.

Approximately eight members of OASI attended. Initially the sky was clouded out, but after a time the clouds blew away leaving a crystal clear sky. Observed one Delta Aquarid, several sporadic meteors, and several satellites.


15 June 1974, Lyrids

Location: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich.

Organiser: Tom Cardot.

19740615_Met_obs.jpg

Observed 22:30 - 24:30 UT. Sky fair to good. Recorded 18 meteors: 13 in the first hour and five in the second. Members of OASI observing were: John Deans, Nigel Gage, Mike Howell, Mike Hadden, R Norman, David Barnard, Roy Cheesman, David Bearcroft, David Ling, Steve Flory, Tom Cardot.

Photograph of the observers by Tom Cardot. L-R as follows: ?, Nigel Gage, Roy Cheesman, ?, Steve Flory, Dave Barnard, David Ling, John Deans, Dave Bearcroft.

 

26 October 1973, Orionids

Location: North Ipswich.

Organiser: David Green.

The date of observation was just within the normal limits of the Orionids, but all meteors observed were sporadic. The observers were: D Green (DG), C Green (CG), K Bantoft (KB). Sky: misty, especially at low altitude. No Moon. Limiting magnitude 4.5 - 5.0. Time of observations: 19:35 - 20:20 UT.

19731026_Met_obs.jpg Observers at the count.

Meteors observed:

19:36 mag 1.5, reliability 1, observers KB & CG.

19:45 mag circa -1.5, reliability 2, observer DG.

19:47 mag 3.5, reliability 2, observer DG.mag 3.5, reliability 2, observer DG.

19:56 mag 1.5, reliability 2, observer DG.

20:06 mag 2, reliability 2, observer KB.

20:08 mag -2, reliability 2.5, observers DG & KB, yellow train for 1 second.

20:10 mag circa 1.5, reliability 1, observer DG, slow.

Reliability refers to the confidence of the observers in the observation, on a scale from 1=most reliable, looking directly at the meteor to 3=seeing the meteor out of the corner of the eye.


Links

Historical footnote on meteor observing in Suffolk.

Observations of fireballs, 1973-86.

Observations of fireballs and satellites, 2018 onwards.