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Wednesday, 12 October 2011


BAA electronic bulletin

Observations by BAA members and by non-members who have so far communicated
with the Director of the Meteor Section confirm that a short-lived outburst
of Draconid meteors occurred on 2011 October 8.

Draconid rates were generally low until around 1900 UT on October 8 when a
rapid increase in activity occurred, peaking between 2005 and 2015 UT.
Thereafter there was a rapid decline, with Draconid meteor rates returning
to a low level by 2130 UT.  A very preliminary analysis of visual
observations made by a group of observers led by the Director, observing
from near Goreme in central Turkey, indicates that the peak equivalent ZHR
was about 350 m/h between 2005 and 2015 UT, although correction factors are
high due to the effect of bright moonlight.  It is possible that lesser,
short-lived secondary bursts in Draconid activity were also noted around
1915 and 1938 UT.

Observers in the UK had to contend with cloud and rain on the evening of
October 8, but it is extremely encouraging that so many individuals and
local society groups battled the elements in the hope of getting a view of
the shower.  Some were rewarded for their persistence.  A short period of
partially clear weather enabled observers in Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire,
Gloucestershire and Berkshire (and hopefully other areas as well) to glimpse
the shower between 1955 and 2030 UT.  By a fortunate circumstance this was
coincident with the main peak in Draconid activity.

The Director is extremely grateful to all those observers in the UK who have
so far communicated with him by email, including: Len Entwisle, Peter Gill
(Eastbourne AS), Gerard Gilligan (Liverpool AS), Tim Haymes (Maidenhead AS),
Brian Heath (Nottingham AS), Nick James, Gordon MacLeod, Bob Mizon, Alex
Pratt, George Spalding and David Swain.

More observations of the Draconid outburst, using photographic, visual, and
radio techniques, from individuals and groups in the UK and overseas, are
urgently required to build up a full picture of the shower's rapidly
changing activity.  Even if you have only glimpsed a few meteors during a
short-lived break in the clouds, the Section would like to receive your
report. Simple counts of meteors seen within given time periods will also be
welcome. It is intended that a summary of all the observations received,
crediting all of the individual observers and society groups, will be
published in the BAA Journal as soon as all observations have been received
and the analysis completed.

There must be many observers - including many non BAA members - who
witnessed the peak of the shower, and we would like to encourage all these
people to submit their observations to the Section, either via email to:

or by post to:

Draconid Meteor Project 2011
British Astronomical Association
Burlington House
London W1J 0DU

This e-bulletin issued by:
John W. Mason, Director, BAA Meteor Section
2011 October 11
BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
(c) 2011 British Astronomical Association

Good Clear Skies
Colin James Watling
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
Information -- More Info -- And More Info

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