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Comet and Meteor Observations



On this page you will find the results of the Comet and Meteor activities of ASSA Bloemfontein Centre. It consists of the observation of comets, the counting of meteor showers and studies of the movements of minor solar bodies.

Comet Observations

Comet Lovejoy C/2007 E2

A new comet has entered the southern skies (March/April 2007). For more details, go to ASSA National's Comet and Meteor section webpage.



Comet McNaught


In January 2007, Comet C/2006 P1 McNaught brightened to become one of the most spectacular comets of the past few decades - far brighter than comet Halley in the 1980's and even brighter than comet Hale-Bopp of the 1990's!

Go to National ASSA's website with comprehensive list of information and photos:
http://assa.saao.ac.za/news/2007jan_mcnaught.html


What you need to do comet reporting

You can make contributions to scientific research by observing comets from your back yard, even from the city...

1) Comet report form
2) Star chart for drawing the comet coma and tail if you so choose
3) Magnitude reference chart (which must be from an acceptable reference source)
4) An acceptable observation instrument (even you're eye can be appropriate under certain circumstances!)

5) Basic traning in comet observation and reporting is essential

Comet and meteor circulars

Use the ASSA Circulars for custom information on the Southern African theatre.
(Download the demo version of Skymap - www.skymap.com - for comet trajectories).

Contact details

Please contact the club for more information or ASSA's national director of its Comet and Meteor section, Tim Cooper.

List of comets observed by members and reported on in recent years

Comet LINEAR C/2002 T7 - April/May 2004
Comet NEAT C/2001 Q4 - April/May 2004


Meteor Observations

What you need for meteor reporting:

1) Meteor report form
2) Gnomonic star charts ('curved charts') for drawing path and size of the meteors if the shower allows drawing
3) Magnitude reference charts (which must be from an acceptable reference source - usually already on the Gnomonic charts)
4) No instruments except the naked eyes are required
5) Basic traning in meteor counting and reporting is essential


Meteor Showers


Please consult the 2007 Sky Guide Africa South (handbook) for a complete list of 2006 showers - page 75


Meteor showers counted and reported on by members in recent years

2006 - total observation time by members to date for 2006: 2.5 hours
Shower observed
Observer
Dates observed
Total shower meteors observed
Total other meteors observed
Accumulated nett time of count observations
Geminids
Mia Zeelie 13 December
34
6
95 minutes
  Gerrit Penning 13 December
16
5
100 minutes
Orionids
Gerrit Penning 21 and 22 October (SAST)
27+51=78
15+17=32
150 min + 145 min
  Jacques van Delft 21 October
20
12
145 min
  Hannes vd Merwe 22 October
33
23
96 min
  Thinus vd Merwe 22 October
31
4
80 min
  Mia Zeelie 20, 21 and 22 October (SAST)
&&
&&
&&
Eta Aquarids
Gerrit Penning 5 May 2006
11
?
60 minutes
Mia Zeelie 5 May 2006
14
11*
95 minutes
 
2005 - total observation time by members for 2005: 1.5 hours
Shower observed
Observer
Dates observed
Total shower meteors observed
Total sporadics during shower observed
Accumulated nett time of count observations
Eta Aquarids (unrecorded)
Mary and Paul Fanner (Kby) 5 May 2005
16
3
90 minutes
 
2004 - total observation time by members for 2004: 15.91 hours
Shower observed
Observer
Dates observed
Total shower meteors observed
Total sporadics during shower observed
Accumulated nett time of count observations
Pi Puppids
Jacques van Delft 21, 22, 23 April 2004
4
6
231 mintues
Gerrit Penning 22 April 2004
1
3
77 minutes
April Lyrids
Ronel du Preez 21, 22, 23 April 2004
6
17
228 minutes
Mia Zeelie 21, 22 April 2004
3
4
124 minutes
Gerrit Penning 21, 22, 23 April 2004
3
16
170 minutes
Jacques van Delft 21 April 2004
0
3 (6 uncomf.)
32 minutes
Gamma Normids
Gerrit Penning 13 March 2004 (peak date)
4
2
48 minutes
Alpha Crucids 2004
Group 19 Jan - No observations due to overcast sky
0
0
0
Alpha Centaurids
Gerrit Penning No activitiy seen in observation period
0
0
45 minutes
Quandrantids
Mia Zeelie 4 Jan 2004 - No observations due to cloudy sky
0
0
0
 
2003 - total observation time by members for 2003: 29.016 hours
Shower observed
Observer
Dates observed
Total shower meteors observed
Total sporadics during shower observed
Accumulated nett time of count observations
Pi Puppids 2003
Herman Bonnet 23 April 2003
2
0
30 minutes
Gerrit Penning 23 April 2003
1
0
65 minutes
Jacques van Delft 23 April 2003
0*
16*
182 minutes
Elfrieda vd Berg 23 April 2003
4
4
104 minutes
Braam van Zyl 23 April 2003
1
1
65 minutes
Eta Aquarids 2003
Gerrit Penning: 3, 4, 5 and 6 May 2003
74
18
343 minutes
Jacques van Delft 6 May 2003
34*
0
80 minutes
Geminids 2003
Gerrit Penning 12, 13 and 16 December 2003
21
8
196 minutes
Mia Zeelie 12, 13, 14 and 15 December 2003
41
4
410 minutes
Velids 2003
Gerrit Penning 27 and 29 December 2003
4**
9**
119 minutes
Mia Zeelie 27 and 29 December 2003
3**
5**
147 minutes
 
 


*no differentiation between other shower/sporadics

**stream not definite and no chart plotting took place

&& not recorded



Meteor links on the internet:

The International Meteor Organization - http://www.imo.net/ (ASSA Reports to the IMO)
The American Meteor Society
- http://www.amsmeteors.org/index.html
The Dutch Meteor Society - http://www.xs4all.nl/~dmsweb/general/websites.html#meteorites
Sky and Telescope: Basics of Meteor Observing





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