Journal Article

The 2007 Aurigid meteor outburst

P. Atreya and A. A. Christou

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 393, issue 4, pages 1493-1497
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14243.x
The 2007 Aurigid meteor outburst

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A rare outburst of the Aurigid meteor shower was predicted to occur on 2007 September 1 at 11:36 ± 20 min ut due to Earth's encounter with the one-revolution dust trail of long-period comet C/1911 N1 (Kiess). The outburst was predicted to last ∼1.5 h with peak zenithal hourly rate of ∼200 h−1, which is ∼20 times higher than the annual Aurigid shower. Three members of Armagh Observatory observed this outburst from the general area of San Francisco, CA, USA, where the shower was anticipated to be best seen. Observed radiant, velocity and activity peak time were consistent with the predictions, whereas the zenithal hourly rate was about half of the predicted value. Five Aurigids were observed by two stations simultaneously, enabling their spatial trajectory to be worked out. The orbits of these double station meteors are in good agreement with that of their parent comet Kiess. The outburst was abundant in bright (−2 to +1 mag) meteors. The first high-altitude Aurigid, with a beginning height of 137.1 km, was recorded.

Keywords: meteors; meteoroids

Journal Article.  3824 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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