(meteorobs) Mar 14/15 Meteor Observations From California

I made it out for a second morning in a row. Upon my arrival at 1:45
local time the moon was still up low in the northwest. I was facing high
toward the south so it was well out of my field of view. It was not much
of a nuisance as LM estimates at 2:00 (10:00 UT) were still 6.45. Rates
were low this first hour despite the decent LM. The moon set at 2:50
leaving pitch black skies. There was a fog layer covering San Diego
tonight so it was quite dark, even toward the west. The sky was black
overhead but below 60 degrees elevation it was a bit washed out or
fuzzy. It was still good enough to show the Milky Way right down through
Norma and Ara. The portion from Scorpius to Aquila had a green cast and
was intensely bright. Once again the zodiacal band was invisible as it
blended in to the sky background below 60 degrees elevation.

Rates picked up a bit during the second hour and peaked during the last
hour. The Virginids were again active. A nice -1 Virginid with a train
was seen out of the corner of my eye at 3:53 shooting downward past
Corvus and into Hydra. The train was very surprising coming from a slow
moving meteor. A faint Gamma Normid was also seen at 4:13 as it shot
toward Spica from the south. The highlight of the night was an intensely
yellow -1 sporadic which shot down the eastern side of Ophiuchus toward
Sagittarius. It was of medium speed as it traveled 20 degrees in 2

The moon is becoming too much of a nuisance so I doubt if I will be
watching again until the last week of the month when the moon reaches
last quarter.

March 14/15 2000

1000-1100 UT  0.95  6.71  0 GNO   1 VIR    5 SPO    6  TOTAL
1100-1200 UT  0.94  6.81  0 GNO   1 VIR    8 SPO    9  TOTAL
1200-1300 UT  0.91  6.53  1 GNO   3 VIR    7 SPO   11  TOTAL

TOTALS:       2.80  6.69  1 GNO   5 VIR   20 SPO   26  TOTAL

The first column gives the period watched stated in Universal Time (UT)
which is PDT + 8 hours. The second column gives the percent of that
particular hour actually spent observing the sky. Time was lost for
plotting and data entry tonight. The third column gives the average
limiting magnitude estimated during each period with a minimum of 4
estimates using at least 2 and preferably 3 different sky areas close to
my center of view. The last several columns list the activity seen
during each period.

I was facing South at an altitude of 70 degrees during the entire
session. No breaks were taken. GNO = Gamma Normids, VIR = Virginids, SPO
= Sporadic (random activity). 

Beginning Temperature/Relative Humidity:   47 F (8 C)  40%
Ending         "         "         "       44 F (7 C)  38%


GNO:   +4 (1)  AVERAGE: +4.00
VIR:   -1 (1) +2 (1) +3 (1) +4 (2) AVERAGE: +2.40
SPO:   -1 (1)  0 (1) +2 (6) +3 (8.5) +4 (2.5) +5 (1) AVERAGE: +2.58

Bob Lunsford
San Diego, CA USA
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