Join us this Saturday for the 2023 Perseid Meteor shower, fingers crossed for a clear sky?



2020 Geminid Meteor shower              2021 Quadrantids

Latest data for the 2020 Geminid meteor shower.... we have added the plot for the 13/14 th. Looks like the peak may have been around 21.30 on the 13th,  although an actual count may change things. The plot shows that either way the evening intensity / power was more pronounced for individual trails.

For this years Quadrantids we have a sample of the daily plot showing a peak around 0400 on the morning of the 3rd Jan. Local interference spoilt the plot between 19.30 to midnight. The morning opf the 4th (  predicted peak ) will follow.



2019 - Geminids.

Sad to say that yet again the AC was denied  an optical meteor treat by the dreaded hilltop clouds and rain.

Most members reporting a complete lack of visual observations due to the foul weather.

However, our radio observations confirmed the predicted peak around the 14th December. Prior to conducting an hourly count the radio peak seems to have be around 1900 to 2100 on Saturday.

     Night of the 14th !!


2019 - Perseids

Sad to say a miserable visual event with most reports confirming the lack of numbers.

Using radio reflections a summary follows...

Perseid update.........From samples taken between 00.00 to 06.00 UT and between 7th and 15th August 2019 the averaged hourly rate is as follows................... 
                                   7 - 8th .....191
                                   8 - 9th......122
                                   9 - 10 th....246
                                  11 - 12th....565
                                  12 - 13th....357
                                  13 - 14th....569
                                  14 - 15th....726
So, peak day/ night .... 14 - 15 th in terms of total numbers.
Best hourly peaks all UT.........morning of 12th...  03.00 to 04.00..... 856
                                            "                          04.00 to 05.00......860 .........see attached.





2018 Geminids

Tuesday  the 11 th December   ........Off to a good start with hourly rates increasing. Based upon last few years observations ( see below) look out  after tea on the 13th ( + or - 1.5 hrs of 21.00) and then an early 0400 to 0700 on the morning of the 14th for a peak guesstimate!

Thursday 13th..... Rate still building...........On the 12 to 13th between 1700 to 2300.... 85 radio meteors per hour

                                                                                                                           2200 to 2300 ...116

                                                                                                    0300 to 0900...173 per hour

                                                                                                                           0700 to 0800....210

 Looks like the observations are in agreement with the predicted peak -  morning of the 14th.

Hourly rates to follow. We hope observers round the country had better  weather than we had at the AC!

We may have some Coma Barenicids ( morning of 16th?) at the end of the Geminids shower




2018 Perseids.......


Off to a good start...

Two distinct peaks so far with average hourly rates between 00.00 and 0800 of  120 ( radio reflections).


 Hourly rate, above, between 00.00 and 0800 ... 58 ( radio)




Hourly rate, above, between 00.00 and 0800 ... 83 ( radio)



Hourly rate, above, between 00.00 and 0800 ... 51 ( radio)

Hourly rate, above ( 10 to 11th August 2018), between 00.00 and 0800 ... 80 ( radio)

 Morning of the 12th... between 00.00 and 08.00 UT.... hourly rate average....145 ( radio). between 0700.. and 0800 a peak of 212 reflections were recorded......over one every 20 seconds!


Morning of the 13th... between 00.00 and 08.00 UT.... hourly rate average....163 ( radio).

Peak hour between 04.00 and 05.00 UT @ 180 reflections...... would have been a wow night had it not been for the cloud at our location. We hope someone somewhere had a good show?










January 2018 Quadrantids.

Charts between 2nd and 4th Jan so far...


This years (2017) Geminid meteor shower is expected between the 13 and 15th of December. Previous years data have shown intense activity in the late afternoon/ early evenings as well as another peak  between 0200 and 0500.

Here are the results so far ...2017 December Geminids , starting at 1800 each day for four days. ( Strange quiet evening/morning on the 13 /14 th?). Visually, the observing periods have been disappointing. Cloud, sleet and snow have spoilt seeing conditions on most evenings/ mornings. Looks like the peak was on the morning of the 13th between 05.00 and 10.00.


Last two years


If its clear, check the skies from tea time onwards to the East / North and to the zenith.  After 0200 to the SE / SW as well as the zenith.




This years Perseids have started off steadily. See below for daily strip charts. There are some observable peaks and amongst them are quite a few large bursts. The peak of the shower is predicted to occur on the morning of the 12th or 13th- we would observe between 0200 and 0400 UT, cloud permitting. Fingers crossed!




2016 December Geminids

Members waiting for viewing opportunities of the 2016 Geminid meteor shower were again thwarted by the weather. A mixture of rain , mist, low cloud and full moon reduced the possible brief glimpses of a clear sky to an absolute minimum. On the night of the 14th, dry for a change, a full moon and condensation trails reduced a rising radiant point to theory.

Meanwhile at the radio meteor receiving station strong bursts were detected over a few days. The detected peak seems to be concentrated around the evening of the 13th. With average speeds of 35 Km/s and ionisation heights of 90 - 100 Km the meteors have a fair proportion of Magnesium in their structure. The meteor `burst` characteristic of the Geminids is well illustrated by the attached images.( No.4).




Roll on Delta Arietids and December Ursids



2016 Perseid season


Sadly, true to the weather forecast, the conditions for a `Perseid` watch at the Astronomy Centre were dire. The only shower we experienced was of the H2O variety!. A small birthday group braved the evening for a organised guided tour and general discussion. Ironically, clear skies were available from Sunday night as the shower had already  passed.

Follow the following link for a list of annual meteor showers......

On the plus side we continue to monitor meteor activity using non- optical means. See below for the latest daily activity charts. The predicted peak of the shower was in agreement with actual observations also with a visible double peak during the event. Hourly counts ( on the morning of the 12th) due south were as follows....

                                                                                     00.00 to 01.00  - 90 / hour ( all times UTC )

                                                                                     01.00 to 02.00 - 101

                                                                                     02.00 to 03.00 - 117

                                                                                     03.00 to 04.00 - 131

                                                                                    04.00 to 05.00 -  137

                                                                                    05.00 to 06.00 - 130

                                                                                    06.00 to 07.00 - 119

Several very intense bursts were recorded during the session, these have been expanded and shown below.                                                                               


Data is displayed in 24 hour chart recorder samples from about 15.00 to 15.00. Most `spikes` in the data represent the passing of a meteor between mid-France and Rochdale. Echoes from a radio beacon in France are only detectable when a meteor trail enhances the ionosphere, enabling radio reflections to occur. Observing the intensity and frequency of the spikes enable rough predictions to be made of impending shower conditions. ( Allow for earth rotation ).

All data supplied is extracted from radio derived observations using a VHF directional antenna, sensitive receiver and PC based data collection.

Charts of the last days data will be published daily after 1800. Click on image for larger version.











     Back to normal

 Somebody, somewhere saw the following multiple events in a clear sky ! Morning of the 12th.





An interesting shower over the end of 2015



The vertical peaks on the charts indicate the reflection of an over horizon beacon to the south as received in northern England. With the volume of the receiver turned up an audible `ringing ` is heard, this can last in excess of 8 seconds when a long duration fireball is detected. ( Ignore thick roughly horizontal line- this is the sky and receiver noise base level, interesting daily variations though?



 Four examples of individual meteor trails.


 An expanded single `ping`  in the early hours of the 26th.