APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

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APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Jun 01, 2022 4:05 am

Image Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak Telescopes

Explanation: It wasn't the storm of the century -- but it was a night to remember. Last night was the peak of the Tau Herculids meteor shower, a usually modest dribble of occasional meteors originating from the disintegrating Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3. This year, calculations showed that the Earth might be passing through a particularly dense stream of comet debris -- at best creating a storm of bright meteors streaking out from the constellation of Hercules. What actually happened fell short of a meteor storm, but could be called a decent meteor shower. Featured here is a composite image taken at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, USA accumulated over 2.5 hours very late on May 30. Over that time, 19 Tau Herculids meteors were captured, along with 4 unrelated meteors. (Can you find them?) In the near foreground is the Bok 2.3-meter Telescope with the 4.0-meter Mayall Telescope just behind it. Next year, the annual Tau Herculids are expected to return to its normal low rate, with the next active night forecast for 2049.

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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by Joe Stieber » Wed Jun 01, 2022 6:55 am

The "Tau Herculid" description is probably not appropriate for this meteor shower as the radiant wasn't that close to Tau Her as shown in the attached image of today's APOD that I labeled (the mouseover labeling of today's picture wasn't that helpful). It is pretty close to the position indicated by Joe Rao in his updated S&T article about the impending shower, a point near a line between between Arcturus and Cor Caroli (Arcturus is just outside the top edge of the picture). That point was close to the borderline between constellations Boötes and Canes Venatici, not far from globular cluster M3, so I'm not sure in which constellation it actually fell. Perhaps someone will propose a more meaningful designation.

I was out to the NJ Pines (relatively dark) for some casual meteor observation on the night of May 30-31 and saw perhaps twenty meteors, of which about fifteen radiated from a spot near Arcturus. Certainly not a storm, but well above what I might see on an ordinary night. I missed double what I saw based on the "ooh's and ah's" of fellow observers because I was looking through my scope or binoculars, or just not looking in the right direction at the right time.
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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by Ann » Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:42 am

Joe Stieber wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 6:55 am The "Tau Herculid" description is probably not appropriate for this meteor shower as the radiant wasn't that close to Tau Her as shown in the attached image of today's APOD that I labeled (the mouseover labeling of today's picture wasn't that helpful). It is pretty close to the position indicated by Joe Rao in his updated S&T article about the impending shower, a point near a line between between Arcturus and Cor Caroli (Arcturus is just outside the top edge of the picture). That point was close to the borderline between constellations Boötes and Canes Venatici, not far from globular cluster M3, so I'm not sure in which constellation it actually fell. Perhaps someone will propose a more meaningful designation.

I was out to the NJ Pines (relatively dark) for some casual meteor observation on the night of May 30-31 and saw perhaps twenty meteors, of which about fifteen radiated from a spot near Arcturus. Certainly not a storm, but well above what I might see on an ordinary night. I missed double what I saw based on the "ooh's and ah's" of fellow observers because I was looking through my scope or binoculars, or just not looking in the right direction at the right time.
Thanks a million for your annotations, Joe! I was going to try to do it myself, but I wasn't really up for it. And oh, that's Coma Berenices up there to the left - of course!!!

And I couldn't ever have done the brilliant job that you did, drawing all those straight lines, and finding the radiant. Beautiful!

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:34 pm

Joe Stieber wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 6:55 am The "Tau Herculid" description is probably not appropriate for this meteor shower as the radiant wasn't that close to Tau Her...
That's true, sort of. The stream has been perturbed in such a way that we're encountering it in a somewhat different place. All the same, it remains the same stream we normally see radiating from Tau Her, so it's pretty reasonable to identify the shower that way, and not give it a different name because of a single odd encounter.
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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:43 pm

Another annotated image, this of a smaller section of the sky. This is the 8 meteor image I posted over on the What did you see... forum. The radiant is quite obvious for this shower, and less diffuse than I expected.
_
stack-2-annotated.jpg
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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by ddorn777 » Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:50 pm

Being a city dweller (I know, makes most astronomical observations a pain) I was only able to spot 4 over the course of an hour, due to cloud cover, limited viewing between buildings and trees, and excessive light from street lights and neighborhood ambient light. Even so, the ones we saw were especially bright for meteors, and it was a great bonding experience with my 14-year-old son, who is just now getting excited about science.

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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by SingleScull » Wed Jun 01, 2022 7:25 pm

I saw a nice short flash in the right place and about the length of the width of my little finger (or the moon if visible)

I also saw three satellites -- and best of all -- a large owl in flight!!! Never seen that before at night

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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:03 pm

So, I think I found three of the unrelated meteors, but the fourth eludes me. My criterion was that they don't seem to follow the same radiant lines as the others. Also, many if not most of the others appear to end in a little ball of light. I assume that's the final dying flash?

Tau Herculids Meteors.png
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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:23 pm

TauHerMeteors_Lyu_1280.jpg
Neat! 8-)
falling-stars.png
:ohno: The sky is falling! That's a heavy shower! :mrgreen:
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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by alter-ego » Thu Jun 02, 2022 4:18 am

johnnydeep wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:03 pm So, I think I found three of the unrelated meteors, but the fourth eludes me. My criterion was that they don't seem to follow the same radiant lines as the others. Also, many if not most of the others appear to end in a little ball of light. I assume that's the final dying flash?
I think the 4th is a quite faint streak.
 
4th Meteor.jpg
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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by johnnydeep » Thu Jun 02, 2022 11:41 am

alter-ego wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 4:18 am
johnnydeep wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:03 pm So, I think I found three of the unrelated meteors, but the fourth eludes me. My criterion was that they don't seem to follow the same radiant lines as the others. Also, many if not most of the others appear to end in a little ball of light. I assume that's the final dying flash?
I think the 4th is a quite faint streak.
 
4th Meteor.jpg
Thanks. I can see that one but probably never would have suspected it without you having pointed it out. It seems to have a bright ball of light midway along it. Is that meaningful or just coincidental background star along the path?
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Re: APOD: Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak... (2022 Jun 01)

Post by alter-ego » Fri Jun 03, 2022 4:21 am

johnnydeep wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 11:41 am
alter-ego wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 4:18 am
johnnydeep wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:03 pm So, I think I found three of the unrelated meteors, but the fourth eludes me. My criterion was that they don't seem to follow the same radiant lines as the others. Also, many if not most of the others appear to end in a little ball of light. I assume that's the final dying flash?
I think the 4th is a quite faint streak.
 
4th Meteor.jpg
Thanks. I can see that one but probably never would have suspected it without you having pointed it out. It seems to have a bright ball of light midway along it. Is that meaningful or just coincidental background star along the path?
I can't say for sure. I'd guess it to be a background star (or two).
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