(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
Staff Advisor
American Meteor Society

Fort Myers, Florida

The archive and Web site for our list is at http://www.meteorobs.org
To stop getting all email from the 'meteorobs' lists, use our Webform: