Here’s my report on the Ursids. Raymond Dubois joined me for an outing to the L&A Dark Sky Site, located about 190km south-west of Ottawa. The weather forecasts was most promising for this area, although the unseasonably mild temperature created a widespread haze of humidity in the atmosphere. Raymond and I travelled together with all our gear and we arrived at the L&A site near suppertime. My goal was to start observing as soon as possible to catch the Ursids near the possible timing of the dust filament. Unfortunately, there were some early frustrations. A number of people were at the site already and doing a camp fire (not allowed I think). Also, a few issues setting up camera equipment. A nice long yellow Ursid of mag +2 was seen in the north-east. Eventually, I signed on at 7pm, and I observed for 42 minutes before cutting the hour short to attend my cameras. I resumed observing a half hour later, and went on for an hour and a half. The sky was okay, but hazy and not optimal. Ursids were active in small numbers. After another short break, I observed for the next two hours, seeing 6 Ursids. At that point, a very heavy fog materialized, and gradually forced me to stop observing. It was thick enough to block the view of all but the brightest stars. I decided to go for a nap but I kept my cameras running. I woke up after 1:30am and the sky improved somewhat. I made an attempt to observe but it only lasted 17 minutes before heavy fog rolled in again. After another snooze, I woke up just before 4:30am, and the sky was crystal clear. I could watch for one more hour, and during that time, only one Ursid was seen among other meteors. All in all, in a total of about 5 hours, I saw 37 meteors (14 Ursids, 4 antihelions), 3 December Leo Minorids, 3 Coma Berenicids, 1 Quadrantid and 12 sporadics). It certainly felt like the Ursids were more active in the early part of the night, and winding down towards the end.
The nicest meteor was a +1 green December Leo Minorid that shot swiftly in the north, leaving a 2 sec train.
At one point, a young couple joined us and they enjoyed sitting back to watch the sky with us.
Here’s my photo results:
Composite image of 3 Ursids and 4 sporadic meteors. Canon 5D, Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 lens.
Composite image of 9 Ursids and 3 sporadic meteors. Canon 6D, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens.
Observation December 22/23 2019, 00:00-10:40 UT (19:00-05:40 EST)
Location: L&A County Public Dark Site, Ontario, Canada
(Long: -77.116 West; Lat: 44.559 North)
Anthelion (ANT) – 06:53 (103) +23
Monocerotids (MON) – 07:28 (112) +07
alpha Hydrids (AHY) – 07:46 (117) -06
December Leonis Minorids (DLM) – 10:44 (161) +29
Comae Berenicids (COM) – 12:11 (183) +14
Ursids (URS) – 14:30 (218) +75
Quadrantids (QUA) – 14:54 (224) +53
00:00-00:42 UT (19:00-19:42 EST); clear; 2/5 trans; F 1.11; LM 6.18; facing NNE60 deg; teff 0.70 hr
URS: one: +4
ANT: one: +3
Sporadics: one: +4
Total meteors: Three
01:12-02:12 UT (20:12-21:12 EST); clear; 2/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.20; facing NNE60 deg; teff 1.00 hr
URS: five: +2(2); +3(2); +5
ANT: two: +1; +4
Sporadics: one: +1
Total meteors: Eight
02:12-02:28 UT (21:12-21:28 EST); clear; 2/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.20; facing NNE60 deg; teff 0.266 hr
URS: one: +5
Total meteors: One
02:57-03:57 UT (21:57-22:57 EST); clear; 2/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.18; facing NNE60 deg; teff 1.00 hr
URS: three: +3; +4(2)
DLM: one: +1
Sporadics: one: +5
Total meteors: Five
03:57-04:45 UT (22:57-23:45 EST); clear; 1/5 trans; F 1.04; LM 5.63; facing NNE60 deg; teff 0.80 hr
URS: three: +1; +3(2)
ANT: one: +5
Sporadics: four: +1; +4(2); +5
Total meteors: Eight
06:40-06:57 UT (01:40-01:57 EST); clear; 1/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 5.90; facing NNE60 deg; teff 0.283 hr
Sporadics: two: +5(2)
Total meteors: Two
09:25-10:40 UT (04:25-05:40 EST); clear; 2/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.25; facing NNE60 deg; teff 1.25 hr
COM: three: +4(3)
DLM: two: +3; +5
URS: one: +5
QUA: one: +4
Sporadics: three: +3(2); +4
Total meteors: Ten
Nice report Pierre! Good luck with the Quadrantids.
Thanks Bob! I just came back from an over 1000 km road trip to chase clear skies for the Quadrantids. It was not the clearest of nights, but I managed to get in some observing and images on the peak night. As it turns out, the peak occurred about 3 hours earlier than anticipated, and was mostly missed due to a low radiant and patchy clouds. The sky cleared nicely late at night, and I saw the sharp drop off of Quads. I hope you had clear skies!