After observing the maximum of the Perseids under a bright moonlit sky, I was looking forward to observing the Aurigids under dark skies. My first chance came on August 27, and after some hours of early sleep, I went out to my observing field some 200 meters uphill from my house. The air was calm and humid, and the temperature was +14 degrees Celsius. After putting up my observation gear, I could enjoy a clear and transparent sky, with a weak Aurora Borealis in the north, to faint to cause any problems.
I started my observation 22:00 UT, and a +4-mag sporadic was instantly seen in the first minute of observation. After that a steady flow of faint sporadic meteors continued throughout the hour, ending at 11 meteors. An exception from the faint meteors came after 55 minutes, when a +1-mag sporadic with a smoke train appeared in Taurus. The highlite of the first hour was a red +0-mag ANT that started in Pegasus and glided slowly through Cepheus before ending its long path in Ursa Major. One possible AUR was seen the first hour at 22:49 UT, when a yellow meteor of mag +1 shot into Ursa Major.
The second hour started very slowly, and the first meteor was seen only after 17 minutes, when a brilliant, slow, white sporadic meteor of mag -1 glided through Draco. Considering its path, velocity, and length from the radiant, this meteor may have been a Zeta Draconid (Robert Lunsford – Meteor Activity Outlook 27. August – September 2, 2022). No Aurigids were seen this hour, and the sporadic count came in at 9 meteors.
The third and final hour yielded 8 sporadic meteors, among them a brilliant +0-mag with a smoke train in Taurus. Another swift, yellow, +1-mag meteor was also seen near the Pleiades. No Aurigids were seen this hour either, and I ended my observation at 01:05 UT. During the observation the temperature had dropped 4 degrees to +10, and my sleeping bag was dripping wet from the humid conditions as I walked downhill to my house for some hours of early morning sleep.
A total of 31 meteors were seen during 3 hours of observation. Among these were: 28 SPO, 2 ANT, and 1 AUR.
Aurigids (206 AUR)
Antihelion source (ANT)
22:00 – 23:00. Teff: 1.00, F: 1.00, Lm: 6.19, RA: 0.00, DEC: +60
SPO: 11 meteors. +1, +3(2), +4(5), +5(3)
AUR: 1 meteor. +1
ANT: 1 meteor. +0
23:00 – 00:00. Teff: 1.00, F: 1.00, Lm: 6.23, RA: 15, DEC: +60
SPO: 9 meteors. -1, +2, +3(2), +4(3), +5(2)
AUR: 0 meteors.
ANT: 0 meteors.
00:00 – 01:05. Teff: 1.00 (5 minutes break), F: 1.00, Lm: 6.23, RA: 30, DEC: +60
SPO: 8 meteors. +0, +1, +2, +3(2), +4(2), +6
AUR: 0 meteors.
ANT: 1 meteor. +2