(meteorobs) Re: Florida 2003 Perseids not much
Watching from my back yard with 20% obstruction, I observed the 2003
Perseid max for 1:07 hours, 428 - 535 EDT (828 - 935 UT) and saw only 4
meteors. Sky LM 4.0 with 30% scattered convective debris, but clearing off
late with rapid improvement to LM5.0+ as the moon was setting. Yet nothing
was seen in the relatively good sky in the last 10 minutes. Meteors were 3
Perseids and one North Delta Aquarid. I was half a day before the expected
regular peak due over Asia this year so that pretty well explains why the
show was so dull. There is a rapid rise to the peak which I was too soon for.
The Perseids were a yellow -1m, a blue 0m, and a blue +1m; the other was a
yellow 0m. No trains, but the bright sky explains that. To all who missed
this night, relax, your time was better spent sleeping. 2005 will be a
different matter for the American quadrant -- peak due here by my reckoning.
Europe gets it in 2004.
Prior full-moon Perseid maxes (moon phases and dates repeat in a 19-year
cycle) : 1984 peak Perseid rate 9/hr for 3 hours ; 1965 - came home to Miami
in the evening after summer school but did not observe; 1946 - only 2 months
after I burst upon the world scene (June 3 birth). Had not realized the
latter until yesterday. The nearly full moon 2 months later dulled the 1946
Draconid storm as well. Go back 2 more cycles to 1908, and my father had
just been born before the washed-out 1908 Perseids. Three years later, in
1911 with a waning gibbous moon, Denning in England complained that the
Perseids had disappeared; all references to that year that I have seen
neglect to mention the moon so readers will think something drastic had
happened to the Perseids.
Norman W. McLeod III
American Meteor Society
Fort Myers, Florida
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