Quadrantids 3/4 January 2015
Last night, the meteor shower the Quadrantids had its maximum. Because there was an almost full moon, I decided for a visual meteor observing session in the early morning. For several days the weather services indicated that there was a possibility of clear skies . Indeed, after a day of rain the sky cleared in the course of the evening. The clock alarm waked me up at 00:30 UT: clear sky but with a lot of cirrus clouds (this is disastrous for visual meteor observation in combination with a full moon). A second check was followed at 03:45 UT: Yess, it was clear and the cirrus was gone.
Between 03:57 and 06:30 UT, I could observe, limiting magnitude increasing from 5.2 to 5.5 at 06:00 UT. There were still reasonable numbers Quadrantids seen strikingly weak stuff (magn. +3 and +4).
The first clear period was from 03:55 to 04:37 UT: Lm around 5.2. In that period, with an effective observation period of 0.70 hours I counted 10 Quadrantids and 1 sporadic meteor. After this period the observations were interrupted because ofpassing clouds that lasted until 04:58 UT. then it remains clear until dawn. However, there was a period of 5 minutes with some passing clouds with a maximum of just 10% coverage.
In the period from 04:58 to 06:00 UT I observed in 1.03 hours 24 Quadrantids, one anti Helion and 1 sporadic meteor. Lm during this period rising from 5.3 to 5.5 just before 6:00 UT. The most beautiful meteors were seen at 05:16 (magnitude +1 QAU) and 05:50 UT (magnitude 0 QUA). I also saw for the first time a stone-owl fly over. I heard them this week in our neighborhood, but had not seen them yet.
In the period from 6:00 to 6:30 UT (0.50 hour effective) I counted 11 Quadrantids and 2 sporadic meteors. At dusk I saw a bright -2 meteor. Presumably a sporadic because it seemed too fast for a Quadrantid and the direction was not correct as well. On the other hand, this meteor was a absolute "eye corner case"....
In total I observed in 2.23 hours 45 Quadrantids, 1 anti Helion and 5 sporadic meteors. A total of 51 meteors.
Picture 1: Composities of some of the meteors recorded with CAMS 352 camera. around 05:00-05:30 UT. Stars of the constellation of Bootes are visible, the bright star in the middle is Arcturus.
Picture 2: Composities of some of the meteors recorded with CAMS 352 camera. around 05:30-06:30 UT. Stars of the constellation of Bootes are visible, the bright star in the middle is Arcturus.
03:55 until 04:37 UT: ZHR 44 ~14.
04:58 until 06:00 UT: ZHR 52 ~11.
06:00 until 06:15 UT: ZHR 70 ~25.
Because of the almost full moon large deviations. Lm between 5,2 and 5,5. I think this a a rather low ZHR, comparable with 2003 (ZHR 60). In 1995 the shower had at the same solar longitude a much higher ZHR, up to 140.
My all sky camera captured on 3 januari 2015 at 23:21 UT a Quadrantid fireball (oppr. magn. -4). It was also captured with two CAMS camera's at Hengelo.
Both my CAMS camera's 351 and 352 recorded 85 meteors, despite sometimes heavy cloudcover and moonlight.