Ground based Observations of the Aurigid Shower


Prakash Atreya, Armagh Observatory, Armagh, U.K.
A rare outburst of the Aurigid meteor shower was predicted to occur 11:36 20 min UT on the 1st of September 2007 due to Earth's encounter with the 1-revolution dust trail of long period comet C/1911 N1 (Kiess). The outburst was predicted to last ~1.5 hours with activity peak Zenith Hourly Rate of ~200/h, which is ~20 times higher compared to annual Aurigid. The meteors, traveling at the speed of 67 km/s, would emanate from a Radiant at R.A.= 92, Dec.= +39 (J2000) in the constellation Auriga. The prediction was made using a complete simulation of the evolution of the comet's dust stream ejected 2000 years ago. Three members of Armagh Observatory observed this outburst from San-Francisco, USA, where the shower was anticipated to be best seen. Observed radiant, velocity and peak time were as predicted within the error bars, whereas the Zenith Hourly Rate was lower than expected. We present here some of our results for double station meteors, and compare their orbita l parameters with that of their parent comet C/1911 N1 (Kiess).