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Orionids, 21st/22nd October

Started by Rick, Oct 22, 2021, 12:51:36

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A couple of images from my Global Meteor Network camera. These are "tracked stack" images combining all the individual frames that actually contained meteors, rotated so that the stars are in the same place.

20th-21st October 2021. This image includes 8 Orionids, 2 epsilon Geminids and 4 sporadics.

21st-22nd October 2021. This image includes 16 Orionids, 1 epsilon Geminid, 1 Southern Taurid and 9 sporadics.


Interesting Rick, so what sort of capture time are these images?   Am I right in assuming the steaks are clouds, and the exposure is not long enough to capture any deep sky objects?

Also what sort of area of sky is this covering?



On a good night (with clear sky and no moonlight) the high-sensitivity camera can probably detect objects down to about 6th magnitude, but the last couple of nights have been far from perfect, with quite a bit of cloud and rather a lot of moonlight.

The camera runs at 25 frames per second because it is looking for fast-moving objects, so longer exposure really doesn't help. The analysis software deals with ten-second chunks of this video, identifying changes that it thinks might be meteors, and uploads those to a couple of central data collection sites so that any that match with ones from other cameras can be used to derive orbits.

In the morning, for my own amusement, I go through the night's events to throw out the ones which are not meteors, and then point the tracked stacker at the remaining files to generate these stacks.



If you use Twitter at all, this post from @UKMeteorNetwork shows a stack of images from a camera pointing in a slightly different direction which caught a spectacular fireball along with a fair few Orionids last night.

Other posts from the same account show single images of the fireball as seen from several different cameras , so I expect there'll be an approximate orbit available shortly...


It turned out there was at least one other meteor captured by my camera on the night of 21st/22nd, and it was by far the brightest, but the automatic detection didn't find it because there was a lot of thin cloud and it couldn't see quite enough stars. However, I was able to calibrate the capture manually using the SkyFit2 tool provided as part of the RMS toolset, and this version of the tracked stack includes it:


Most impressive.  Beats peering at a cloudy sky for hours.


Doing astronomy while you're asleep! Works for me. ;)


I really like this collage.  :D


I particularly like the way meteors from a shower all line themselves up in the tracked stack. This camera's looking towards the north-north-east, so Orion's off round to the right, and you can see all the Orionids streaking away from it.

The night of 24th-25th October 2021 was one with bright moonlight and lots of fast-moving clouds, but the system still spotted 11 Orionids, 9 Southern Taurids, 4 epsilon Geminids and 7 sporadics.


Amazing really what's going on up there every night,
And we only normally go out on the peak.

it will be interesting to see the results when we have a (supposedly) high rate shower.
Something like the Leonoids would be interesting as that's always supposed to be a high rate.



That was 31 meteors on a mostly cloudy night. Many of the meteors this system detects would be hard to spot visually even in a clear sky, because it'll detect them down to about mag 6, and your eyes have to be well adapted to catch ones that faint.

There are at least three showers active at present, and the Orionids do sometimes have quite high rates. Other cameras with clearer skies have been catching a hundred or more in one night.


They all seem to coming from different origins so i think actuall Meteors showers fron particular directions are vary rare. The days of 60 an hour are far gone , i dont bother even capturing all night for 2 or 3 now.
RedCat51,QHYCCD183,Atik460EX,EQ6-R.Tri-Band OSC,BaaderSII1,25" 4.5nm,Ha3.5nm,Oiii3.5nm.


This is really cool Rick!  I vote for a talk on the subject and your achievements in a future OAS meeting!



Quote from: Apophis on Oct 28, 2021, 07:41:49They all seem to coming from different origins so i think actuall Meteors showers fron particular directions are vary rare.

Look a little more closely. I'm not quite sure what projection the tracked stack is using, but you should see quite a few travelling top-right to bottom-left. Those are Orionids. The software analysis, which involves a fair bit of positional calculation (using the background stars as reference, and correcting for camera distortions), does a fair job of identifying the radiant from which each meteor most likely came. I've quoted its counts. The Orionids have been quite active this year. In last night's rather limited gaps in the clouds my camera spotted ten more.

Here's a list of the established showers, and other links on that page's sidebar will take you to other meteor shower lists and related information. Obviously, some showers are more active than others, and within a shower there may be periods of greater or less intense activity.  Some of the cameras that were active during this year's Perseids managed to record hundreds of Perseids in a night. In one or two cases it was touch-and-go whether the poor little Raspberry Pi would complete the local analysis of one night before the next night started.

These automatic cameras are collecting a lot of data which allows meteoroid orbits to be calculated, and that will, among other things, help identify new showers.