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eta Aquarid meteors 2020 May


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About this observation
Alex Pratt
Time of observation
25/05/2020 - 01:44
eta Aquarid meteors 2020 May
Observing location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Watec 902H2 Ultimate and 910 video cameras
6mm f/0.75 and 8mm f/0.8 lenses
UFO Capture
UFO Analyser
1/25th sec frames (deinterlaced 1/50th sec fields)

The month of May sees steady meteor activity from a number of minor showers and from a major shower that is associated with a famous comet. 1P/Halley last visited the inner solar system during 1985-1986. Each of its returns deposits trails of debris along its orbit and the Earth passes through these streams twice in the year, giving us the eta Aquariid (ETA) meteor shower in May and the Orionids (ORI) in October. The ETAs' radiant is badly placed for observers in the UK because it rises shortly before dawn, so they are meteors from the twilight zone.

I recorded 531 meteors in May of which 26 were ETAs. These were detected between May 2 to May 27 and during the post-midnight hours of 00:25 to 03:15 UT. Their maximum rates were predicted to occur on May 6/7.

Because of the low elevation of their radiant and their speedy Vg (geocentric velocity) of 66 km/s, many ETAs display long paths as they strike the atmosphere at a shallow angle and streak across the sky at high angular velocities. Composite images of 4 bright ETAs are shown here.

20200502_013444_Leeds_W     mag 1     (rotated 180 degrees)
20200505_022211_Leeds_SE    mag 0
20200507_030106_Leeds_SE    mag 1
20200525_014449_Leeds_N     mag -0.5

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