Observing Report 3rd January 2010 (Quads workout)

Posted by @ 10:21 am on Monday 4th January, 2010.
Categories: Observing Reports

After having had the weather spoil most of the meteor events of 2009 I was hopeful that the clear skies of the current cold spell would permit a reasonable view of the 2010 Quadrantids. Late in the afternoon the skies darkened and the clarity was good, so I prepped for a 2-hour session to start at 18:00.

The view northwards from the top of our plot is reasonable, looking out across dark gardens and a large low retirement-home.  The radiant was just visible above the artificial horizon, so there was a fair chance that I'd be able to see most of the upper 180-degree arc of the display. Doing some rough maths I figured that if the peak rate was 120/hour I'd get a reduction of 50% due to the 180-degree restriction and a further 50% reduction due to the low elevation. If all went well, I'd be looking for 30 meteors during the 18:30 - 19:30 peak hour.

18:00 arrived and I set up the camera. Despite having taken it outside early to acclimatize, the internal optics hazed up within minutes due to the low temperature (-4C and falling) so pics were a no-no. I've an aversion to forcing heat into any camera, so I took it back indoors for a gentle rewarm and resigned myself to a visual-only session. I found myself a comfy place from where to watch.

As the minutes passed the horizon became a hazy yellow mess due to a combination of a thin fog and light-pollution from the local street-lights and from the retirement home. Seeing 30 meteors in the next hour was going to be a challenge.

The show started at 18:46 - a trail straight through the head of Draco. And another a minute later, this time up near Cepheus. Things were looking good, but then it stopped. I saw only one more trail - a gloriously-bright streak almost overhead, passing through Cassiopeia at about 19:20.

In summary, the show wasn't much of a success, but it was good to be out again, despite the biting cold.

The next half-decent show should be the Lyrids in April, active from the 16th to the 25th with peak activity on the 22nd. Hopefully there'll be better conditions allowing me to get some pics as well as views.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Have your say - submit a comment

THE SMALL(ish) PRINT... (updated 23/07/2016)

By submitting a comment to this blog you grant me permission to reproduce its content and to reproduce the submitted name/URL in attribution. I will leave your content in its intended place and in its unedited form unless one or more of the following apply:

If you ask me to modify, move or delete your content, I’ll consider making the requested change(s) so long as there’s no significant alteration of the context of the content or of any debate associated with it;
If you change your email address or URL, I’ll update these details in older comments so that I'm not displaying dead links;
If I decide to change the theme or layout of this blog, thus affecting the placement and/or visibility of comments, I’ll make whatever changes I see fit for the smooth running of this blog;
If any comment contains insulting profanity or other content which I deem to be causing or likely to cause trouble, I’ll edit or delete as I see fit for the smooth running of this blog. I’ll try to remember to display the reason(s) for whatever editing I do, so that folk aren’t left hanging wondering what happened and why. If you can at least try to "disguise" your swearing, it would be much appreciated.

Other things to consider:

Comments must contain at least 3 characters;
You can use some code in comments, feel free to give it a shot and see what works;
If adding pics, the recommended maximum dimension is 600px.;
Comments containing many links will be held for moderation;
I reserve the right to amend this policy in line with proven applicable current legislation;
Free Speech: you may well have the right to it, but you've no right to compel me to a) listen to it, or b) publish it!