(meteorobs) Obs: 8 Nov 2010

David Oesper oesper at mac.com
Mon Jan 3 22:10:17 EST 2011

8 Nov 2010 0730-0930 UT  Facing South  30 16 44.2 N, 103 35 33.6 W, 1585 m
About 5% sky obstruction at this site due to trees and buildings
Clear, excellent transparency, very light breeze, relative humidity ~ 10%
Observer: David Oesper, SE of Alpine, TX

0727 Begin zenithal sky brightness measurements with Sky Quality Meter
     21.80  21.89  21.86  21.87  21.87  21.87  magnitudes/square arcsecond
     Average: 21.86  Limiting magnitude: 6.5  Sensor Temp = 16 C
     Empirical formula: (Avg-8.89)/2 + 0.04

0730 Begin observations
0732 T+2: Tau, 5 degrees
0732 S+3: very fast, EriSW, coming from dir of Ori/Tau, 30 degrees
0732 S+3: Square of Peg, peripheral
0736 T+2: very slow, coming from dir of Aldebaran or the Hyades, 10 degrees
0737 T+4: Cet
0737 T+4: Eri
0737 S+2: Cet-->Beta Cet, coming from dir of Ari/Tri/Per, 5 degrees
0737 S+2: Eri-->Lep, coming from dir of Ari/Tri/Per (same region as above)
0738 S+4: fairly fast, And, peripheral
0738 S+4: Ori-->Sirius, peripheral
0738 S+4: Peg-->western Eri, very slow, parallel to the horizon; traveling “fuzz” rather
than a bright point, indistinct, very odd, like a traveling wake; 10 degrees
0738 note: not a lot of bright stars in the southern sky right now, makes it easier to see faint meteors because there is less distraction and better dark adaptation; winter Milky Way is quite distinct going down through Aur and to the left of Ori, between Sirius and Procyon, a broad, fuzzy band
0749 S+2?: fast, Psc, between Ari & Jupiter, coming from dir of Per/Aur, 30 degrees
0751 T+3: slow, Eri
0753 S+0: relatively slow, LepSirius, coming from dir of Peg, 30 degrees
0755 S+4: speed the slow side of medium, Ori
0755 S+3: Head of Cet-->below Rigel, 5 degrees
0755 note: minor skyglow from Alpine, TX is less noticeable than it was during 2 Nov 2010 observing session; wind is picking up a little now
0800 note: my knowledge of the far southern sky here at latitude 30 N is lacking since I have lived my whole life up until this past February at latitude 42 to 43 N; Regulus just cleared the garage (altitude 7 degrees); Pup exhibits some nice star patterns below CMa
0812 T+3: a little above Betelgeusebelow Procyon and east, coming from dir of Pleiades, peripheral, 10 degrees.  Taurid?  Didn’t seem as slow as usual Taurid
0812 note: Wind is picking up some more.  Every once in a while, a bright star will quickly flash brighter, obviously an atmospheric seeing phenomenon which I have noticed many times over the years.  I wonder, how big an area on the ground would that effect be seen for a given flash?  It is pretty much localized to just one observer, or would another observer, say, 3 or 6 m away also see it?
0816 T+5: Head of Cet, coming from dir of Tau, 5 degrees
0822 S+4: Eri, about 20 degrees above the horizon, coming from dir of And/Ari, 20 degrees
0822 S+3: fast, just left of Sirius, coming from dir of Aur
0824 T+3: slow, just left of the belt of Ori in Mon Milky Way, 20 degrees
0831 note: Canopus is very bright, even though just 4 degrees above the horizon; seeing it through some distant trees
0833 note: two flashes observed from a moving object that is below Procyon, probably a tumbling satellite.  Heading slowly towards the Head of Hya.  Sometimes bright flashes, sometimes faint flashes.  Interval between flashes varies between 3 and 10 seconds, with many around 5 seconds.
0839 note: Canopus has now cleared the trees (altitude 5 degrees); the object in Hya is still flashing, hardly moving at all!  Interval between flashes has now narrowed to between 4.8 and 5.6 seconds.
0846 note: tumbling satellite has almost reached the Head of Hya
0848 note: no longer see the flashing satellite; wind is moderate now, but still not as windy as during the 2 Nov 2010 observing session
0849 note: Jupiter is just touching the trees now on its way to setting, altitude 6 degrees
0856 S+5: too fast for a Taurid, down below the Hyades and the Pleiades, coming from dir of Ori, 10 degrees
0859 S+4: below the head of Cet, coming from dir of Lep/Col/Cae, 10 degrees
0900 note: Square of Peg getting ready to set, Markab (alt=6 degrees) not far above the trees
0906 note: Jupiter is getting very close to setting, visible through trees (alt=2 degrees)
0915 T+5: below and to the right of the Pleiades
0915 note: I see the Gegenschein for only the second time in my life!  The zodiacal band comes up between the Pleiades and Aldebaran, and there is a faintly glowing patch between Ari and the head of Cet.  About the size of my fist at arm’s length (~10 degrees).  Located between Hamal in Ari and Omicron & Xi Tau.  Amazingly obvious!
0927 T+3: Cet, coming from dir of Tau, 10 degrees
0930 End observations

0932 Begin zenithal sky brightness measurements
     21.85  21.83  21.84  21.84  21.82  21.91 mag/sq."
     Average: 21.85  Limiting magnitude: 6.5  Sensor Temp = 8 C

0730-0930 UT, 8 Nov 2010, Teff = 2.0
10 Taurids [magnitudes +2 (2), +3 (4), +4 (2), +5 (2)]
15 Sporadics [magnitudes +0 (1), +2 (3), +3 (4), +4 (6), +5 (1)]

Comment: The unusually high sporadic rate (for my eyes, anyway) during the first hour (0730-0830) was surprising,

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