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Volume 60, 1930
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Report of the Section for the Observation of Meteors, 1927–1928.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 26th June, 1929; received by Editor, 18th July, 1929; issued separately, 30th November, 1929.]

The Meteor Section was formed in 1928 by members of the New Zealand Astronomical Society actively engaged in the observation of meteors. The need for close co-operation between meteor observers working in this country, and a desire that the various observations made be published in a New Zealand publication, were the prime factors influencing the formation of the section. To make the first report more comprehensive it was decided that the observations made by the members in 1927 should be included, and the director has re-examined all his earlier observations, made during 1919–1926 (published in the Society's notes for 1926 March, and 1927 June), the data from which, thoroughly revised in the light of present experience, are included herein. This report contains, therefore, the results of all the meteor observing carried on in New Zealand in recent years. It is probably the largest and most exhaustive contribution to our knowledge of the southern meteor showers that has yet been published.

The following members of the section have contributed to this report:—

Bateson, F. M., Wellington (B)
McIntosh, R. A., Auckland and Hamilton. (M)
Thomsen, I. L., Dannevirke and Wellington. (T)

Following are details of their individual observations:—

1927 1928
Observer Nights Time Meteors Nights Time Meteors
h. m. h. m.
Bateson 54 86 14 857 20 32 47 302
McIntosh 10 12 11 134 44 51 22 639
Thomsen 5 7 25 72 3 4 45 53
Totals 69 105 50 1063 67 88 47 1094

During the two years under review the three observers have observed on 136 nights, seeing in 194h. 44m. of watching a total of 2161 meteors, or an average of 11 an hour under all sorts of observing conditions. Although the membership is small all are keen workers, and it must be borne in mind that the observation of

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meteors constituted only a fraction of the time that each devoted to astronomical research.

It is disappointing to the writer to have to record that numerous appeals for other members of the Society to participate in the work have not induced any additional observers to come forward. It is to be hoped that the publication of this report will bring before non-observing members the existence of a vast and practically unexplored field for research in the observation of the southern meteoric showers and the nature of the work being done by the section. Observations, no matter how infrequent, are of value.

The results obtained by the observers reveal that a very satisfactory standard of accuracy in the recording of meteor paths has been attained. The director has examined most of the work of the members and all has been treated in such a manner as to secure uniformity in the results. Although members have not all attained an equal amount of experience the careful treatment of their results and the refusal to accept wide radiant areas tend to make all the data contained in this report of a similar degree of accuracy. Each observer has followed the same plan of observation—plotting each meteor when observed on special gnomonic maps, and using uniform blanks for the recording of various details required for statistical studies.

Special Showers.

The Eta Aquarids.—This fine annual shower occurs generally in a period of very unsettled weather. The only observations so far secured were obtained by the director in 1928 under very trying observing conditions. His results have already formed the subject of an interim report published in the Society's notes for 1928 September. Radiants Nos. 20 and 21 in Table 2 were from this shower. In view of the connection between these meteors and Halley's Comet parabolic orbits for these radiants are given below, with the elliptie orbit of the comet for comparison:—

Radiant 336°, -1° Radiant 330°, -0°.2 Halley's Comet
Perihelion minus Node 93.9 113.3 111.7
Node 43.0 43.0 57.3
Inclination 160.8 156.8 162.2
Perihelion Distance 0.539 0.704 0.587

The Delta Aquarids.—This prominent southern shower is well placed for observation, and our members have secured a number of good positions for the radiant of this stream. Observations reveal that for the past four years meteors have always been exceptionally

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plentiful at the end of July. The best-observed radiants are detailed below:—

No. G.M.T. Radiant R.A. Dec. No. of Meteors. Obs. Rate Remarks.
64 1928, July 26.67 341°.6 -15°.1 15 M 35
67 1928, July 27.63 340.0 -16.0 26 B 18
70 1926, July 28.65 340.0 -17.0 341.2 -10.0 5 6 M 18 Mean: 340°.6,-13°.5
72 1925, July 30.60 343.2 -12.5 9 M 23
Mean: 341.2 -14.1 60

The Aquarid shower presents some features of interest. The centre of radiation found by New Zealand observers is considerably south of the usually accepted position, and although the shower appears to possess a somewhat diffuse radiant, the discrepancy cannot be explained by the altered viewpoint or by errors in observation. The good agreement between Nos. 64 and 67 is indicative of the accuracy of the positions determined.

Mr. W. F. Denning, the eminent English observer, says of the Aquarids. “The radiant has been definitely found at a stationary point, 338½°, - 12°, from July 21st to December 15th” (Observatory, 46, 248). As this was written in 1923, it may be taken as the prevailing opinion at the present time. Although no special search has been made, our members in 1927-28 have observed on 27 occasions between August 1st and December 15th, when an active radiant in Aquarius could not have failed to impress itself upon them, but no trace of such long-continued radiation has been found. Looking through earlier records the director has been able to find only one radiant near the position of the Aquarids, No. 76, which lies 6° north of the July positions. Thus it can be stated fairly confidently that the work of New Zealand observers does not support the assumption of long-continued radiation for this shower, which probably does not continue for very many days after the maximum on July 28–30.

It is interesting to note that radiants Nos. 67, 70, 72 in the above table reveal the small eastward motion of about 1° a day which is to be expected from theoretical considerations. It is too small in amount, however, to constitute definite proof of motion, and we must await further and more extensive observations to clear up this interesting possibility. MM. Öpik and Pokrovsky, of the Tartu Observatory, Dorpat, published in 1915 observations showing a moving radiant at R.A. 328° on July 24th, 330° on August 1st, and 335° on August 6th, positions which disagree both with Denning's mean position for maximum and with the New Zealand radiants.

Parabolic elements for this shower are as follows:—

Date 1928, July 26.67 G.M.T.
Perhelion minus Node 303.4° 1928.0
Ascending Node 163.2°
Inclination 74.2°
Perihelion Distance 0.022
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The Orionids.—This interesting annual shower has been extensively observed in New Zealand. Owing to the small altitude of the radiant the individual meteors are generally long-pathed and bright, most leaving behind them long-enduring trains. Their paths are therefore very easily recorded, resulting in splendid determinations of the radiants. The following are the best-determined Orionid radiants:—

No. Date Radiant R.A Dec. No. of Meteors. Obs. Remarks
96 1928, Oct. 15.65 89°.2 +14°.2 15 M
101 1928, Oct. 16.64 90.0 +15.0 9 M
108 1928, Oct. 18.65 91.6 +14.6 4 M Poor position
109 1927, Oct. 18.68 91.1 +15.3 4 M
187 1927, Oct. 19.66 90.7 +15.2 3 M Uncertain
190 1928 Oct. 23.64 93.5 +14.9 3 M Poor position
114 1928 Oct. 24.64 99.4 +13.7 9 M Including 1 stationary meteor
112 1928 Oct. 20.62 92.5 +14.2 12 M

N.B.—The above radiants are not corrected for zenith attraction, which amounts to less than a degree. It should be noted that the poor positions were caused by adverse weather conditions, clouds preventing the observation of a sufficient number of meteors for accurate determinations.

An inspection of the radiants in the above table shows an excellently defined and undoubted motion of the radiant-point with increase of date, amounting to one degree a day eastwards. The observed shift is in good agreement with previous determinations by Dr. C. P. Olivier and R. M. Dole in the United States, and agrees closely with a photographic radiant secured at Harvard in 1922 (H. C. O. Bull., 778). Full comparison of the radiants with the work of other observers will be found listed in Tables 2 and 3. In view of the widely-accepted belief in the fixity of this radiant the director has forwarded a very complete report of his observations to the Royal Astronomical Society for publication.

The parabolic elements for the Orionid stream are:—

Perihelion minus node 77.7° 1928.0 (Mean of five orbits)
Ascending node 25.6°
Inclination 162.3°
Perihelion Distance 0.604

The Leonids.—This shower is very unfavourably placed for New Zealand observers, the radiant rising about sunrise, and but few meteors can be expected to be seen unless in the next few years we are rewarded with a return equalling those of last century. An occasional fine meteor can be observed, but not sufficient on any night to determine a radiant.

Other Showers.—Not much can be done on the other prominent northern meteor showers as, even when on the meridian, they are very low in these skies. It should prove interesting to see if lowaltitude meteor showers such as the Lyrids, Andromedids and Geminids yield bright, long-pathed meteors similar to those of the Orionid shower. Such paths, if seen in sufficient numbers, should result in well-determined radiants being obtained.

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It appears that meteors are present in great numbers at the times of rich annual showers, a number of minor radiants being active in the neighbourhood of the principal shower. These minor radiants may be the result of the dispersion of meteors from the main stream, and it is advisable that members in future endeavour to observe on dates when rich northern showers are active, owing to the high horary rate of meteors at those times.

Radiants Possibly Connected With Comets.

A number of meteor radiants have been found close to the predicted positions of comet showers, as listed below. As a number of further close accordances have already been found in 1929, full consideration of these is deferred, the director intending to make a special study of them in a subsequent paper. The comparison of a meteor radiant with a comet radiant in the following table does not necessarily imply that a connection is assumed between the two. In most cases the accordance is not sufficiently close to render agreement possible.

Comet' Radiant Meteor Radiant
Name Date R.A. Dec. Ref. No. Date R.A. Dec. No. of Meteors Obs.
1590 Mar. 8 275°.0 −38.0 137 1927, Mar. 6 277.°0 −39.0 3 B
1556 Mar. 19 179.0 −26.0 9 1926, Mar. 18 175.0 −20.5 5 M
568 July 23 262.5 −33.0 62 1927, July 20 265.5 −36.5 4 B
1558 Aug. 26 65.0 −22.0 174 1925, Aug. 18 55.2 −28.0 3 M
1763 Sep. 20 44.5 −24.0 86 1928, Sep. 18 36.3 −28.8 4 M
180 1928, Sep. 22 41.0 −32.0 2 M
1854iv Sep. 10 53.0 −16.0 87 1928, Sep. 18 60.0 −17.5 5 M
961 Sep. 26 62.0 −13.0 181 1928, Sep. 22 60.0 −20.0 2 M
1580 Oct. 16 61.0 −7.0 186 1928, Oct. 18 65.0 −17.0 3 M
Table 1.
Details of Observations.
Date 1927 Began Ended Total Time No. of Meteors Rate Factor Corr. Rate Observer and Remarks
h m h m m
Jan. 8 20 45 21 45 60 2 2 1.0 2 B
10–11 21 27 00 30 183 18 6 1.0 6 B
21 21 10 21 45 35 2 B Cloudy
28 21 28 22 40 72 5 4 0.8 5 B Passing clouds
29 21 09 21 50 41 3 B
Feb. 3 21 29 23 31 122 16 8 1.0 8 B
24 20 45 22 08 83 8 6 0.9 7 B Clear; a few clouds
Mar. 4–5 22 15 02 30 255 41 10 1.0 10 B
6 01 00 02 30 90 17 12 0.8 15 M
6 23 20 23 50 30 4 B Very cloudy
7 02 00 04 00 120 19 10 1.0 10 B
14 02 40 03 10 30 6 M
31 21 17 22 40 83 15 11 1.0 11 B
Apr. 6 20 50 21 30 40 1 B Very cloudy half-time
8 20 45 21 50 55 8 9 B Very cloudy
22 19 50 20 30 40 2 B
24 21 00 23 35 145 18 7 1.0 7 B
30 23 35 24 00 25 2 B Very cloudy
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May 6–7 22 53 00 55 62 11 11 0.8 13 T
11 03 00 04 30 90 27 19 0.8 23 M
12 02 30 04 30 120 19 10 0.8 13 M
26 21 10 22 50 100 12 7 0.9 8 B
29 20 15 22 15 120 11 6 0.5 11 B Very cloudy
June 1 02 35 03 00 25 0 M
2 02 55 04 42 91 19 13 0.8 16 M
2 20 55 21 35 40 6 9 0.7 13 B Cloudy
2–3 23 00 01 40 160 30 12 1.0 12 B
3 02 45 04 45 120 19 10 0.7 13 M
4–5 22 55 01 40 165 30 12 1.0 12 B
5 03 00 04 45 105 17 10 0.5 20 M Very smoky
10 21 25 22 15 50 7 8 0.7 11 B Bright moon
17 20 50 21 35 45 1 B Moon 16 days old
24 20 42 22 32 110 12 6 0.8 8 B Clouds
24 22 45 24 00 75 15 12 0.9 13 B Few clouds
25 21 00 22 30 90 13 9 0.9 10 B Few clouds
26 00 00 01 45 105 20 12 1.0 12 B
28 21 30 21 55 25 3 B Mist
July 3 23 12 23 50 38 8 B
4 00 17 01 05 48 15 B
5–6 23 37 01 05 88 22 14 1.0 14 B
19 20 39 21 15 36 5 B Very cloudy
20 19 40 21 18 98 11 7 0.8 8 T
20 19 55 22 00 125 14 7 0.7 10 B Passing clouds half-time
20 22 10 22 30 20 4 B
24 19 06 20 06 60 5 5 0.7 7 B Light clouds
24 20 20 20 50 30 5 B
28–29 23 00 00 10 70 20 18 0.9 20 B Clouds at times.
30 22 15 23 20 65 15 14 0.8 17 B Cloudy
Aug. 2 20 49 22 10 81 9 7 0.8 8 T
3 22 47 23 40 53 10 B
5 21 09 22 00 51 8 B Bright moon
6 03 22 05 36 134 27 12 0.9 14 T
17 20 10 21 35 85 13 9 0.9 10 B
20 21 12 23 24 132 19 9 1.0 9 B
20–21 23 40 00 20 40 11 B
21 00 50 02 25 95 12 8 1.0 8 B
26 22 10 22 50 40 3 B Very cloudy
27 20 50 21 50 60 8 8 0.6 13 B Heavy passing clouds
27 22 40 23 20 40 4 B Very cloudy
28 20 18 21 15 57 6 B
28–29 22 20 00 05 105 18 10 1.0 10 B
Sept. 16 20 25 22 25 120 7 3 0.9 4 B
25–26 21 52 00 05 133 22 10 1.0 10 B
26 01 12 02 05 53 12 B
Oct. 15 22 46 23 30 44 5 B
16 21 07 21 55 48 6 B
18 20 00 24 00 240 41 10 1.0 10 B
19 00 32 01 30 58 12 B
19 02 35 03 45 70 14 12 0.7 17 T Rising moon
19 03 30 04 00 30 4 M Moon
20 03 00 03 30 30 4 M Very cloudy; moon
27 21 00 21 35 35 7 B Passing clouds
27 21 52 22 25 33 2 B Ditto; moon
30 20 10 22 30 140 16 7 0.9 8 B
30–31 23 52 01 00 68 16 14 0.9 16 B
Dec. 3–4 23 10 00 15 65 5 5 0.5 10 B Cloudy and moon
22 20 55 22 45 110 11 6 0.8 7 B Passing clouds
25 00 27 01 00 33 5 B Few passing clouds
25 20 50 23 52 182 36 12 1.0 12 B
Total 105h 50m 956
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Jan. 13 23 12 23 25 13 4 B Clouds and moon
16 22 55 23 50 55 3 B
18 00 43 01 48 65 23 21 1.0 21 B
19–20 22 09 02 10 241 36 9 1.0 9 B
Feb. 15 20 43 21 30 47 3 4 1.0 4 B
19 01 11 02 49 98 9 6 1.0 6 M
21 01 45 03 15 90 16 11 1.0 11 M
25–26 23 30 00 10 40 3 B
26 00 40 02 00 73 10 9 0.8 11 M
26 00 45 02 00 75 11 9 1.0 9 B
Mar. 2 01 55 03 35 100 18 11 0.9 12 T Clouds last half-hour
16 20 15 21 21 66 6 6 0.9 7 B Clear half-hour, then cldy.
20 02 45 03 30 45 4 M
22 02 45 04 15 90 14 9 1.0 9 M
22 21 24 22 22 58 9 9 1.0 9 T
23 02 45 04 00 75 11 9 1.0 9 M
26 02 35 03 35 60 5 5 0.8 6 M
28 02 10 04 17 127 26 13 1.0 13 T
Apr. 15 00 25 01 33 68 5 5 0.7 7 B Clear half-hour, then cldy.
17 21 20 23 10 110 9 5 0.9 6 B
20 00 45 02 12 87 12 8 1.0 8 B
22 02 05 04 35 150 23 9 0.9 10 B Clouds last half-hour
24 02 55 04 50 115 24 13 0.8 18 M
24 22 10 23 40 90 13 9 0.9 10 B Passing clouds at times
May 3 02 40 03 20 18 1 M Very cloudy; moon
4 03 10 05 08 104 11 7 0.5 14 M Clouds; moon
21 20 00 20 55 55 9 9 0.9 10 B Fair; passing clouds
31 03 00 04 10 70 17 15 0.8 18 M
June 14 02 30 03 20 40 10 M
14 21 05 23 10 125 14 7 1.0 7 B
23 02 50 05 00 130 34 16 0.9 17 M
July 14 02 50 03 10 20 5 M
15 01 20 03 15 115 13 9 0.8 11 M
16 02 50 04 45 115 27 14 1.0 14 M
17 03 05 05 06 121 30 15 1.0 15 M
19 19 00 21 01 121 8 4 1.0 4 B
20 02 35 05 15 160 38 18 0.9 20 M Misty 1 hour, then clear
23 21 06 22 33 87 10 7 0.9 8 B Fair; passing clouds
27 02 30 04 40 120 28 14 0.4 35 M Very cloudy
28 00 02 03 45 223 51 14 0.8 18 B Moon 2h.; clear
Aug. 21 20 00 21 35 95 9 6 0.9 7 B Fair; moon; few clds.
Sept. 18 02 40 03 15 35 7 M Misty
19 02 45 04 35 110 22 12 1.0 12 M
20 02 55 04 30 95 18 12 1.0 12 M Misty clouds
23 01 45 04 35 170 27 10 1.0 10 M
Oct. 14 00 42 01 55 73 11 9 0.9 10 B Fair; passing clouds
15 02 15 03 05 50 7 M Clouds
16 02 06 03 56 110 41 22 1.0 22 M
17 01 55 03 51 116 37 19 1.0 19 M
17 02 39 04 00 81 9 7 0.6 12 B Many passing clouds
19 02 20 03 55 95 16 10 0.3 33 M Almost totally cloudy
21 01 12 03 20 128 28 14 1.0 14 M
24 02 30 03 24 54 10 M Heavy mist
25 02 05 03 45 100 19 11 0.7 16 M Mist till 3h.
Nov. 8 02 05 02 50 45 5 M Clouds after 2h. 30m.
13 02 05 03 25 80 16 12 1.0 12 M
14 02 00 03 15 75 9 7 1.0 7 M
Dec. 15 02 10 03 00 50 16 19 1.0 19 M
16 00 40 02 30 110 18 10 1.0 10 M
Total 88h 54m 928

Total 1927-28. 194h. 44m. watching yielded 1884 meteors.

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Table 2.
List of Radiant Points.
Ref. No. Date G.M.T.d R.A. Dec. No. of Meteors. Obs. Remarks.
1 1927, Jan. 10.48 113.7 −30.0 8 B
2 1928 Jan. 17.52 160.0 −8.0 4 B D. 114, 2, Jan. 11, 158°,-8°.
3 1928, Jan. 19.53 170.0 −63.0 7 B 3 meteors on Jan. 17.
4 1928, Feb. 18.60 191.0 −32.0 5 M See 5.
5 1928, Feb. 20.63 192.0 −34.5 2 M Confirms 4.
6 1928, Feb. 20.63 264.5 −42.2 1 M Stationary meteor.
7 1927, Mar. 5.59 228.0 −63.0 5 M BAA, Mar. 18–25, 232°,-69°.
8 1927, Mar. 5.59 175.0 −56.0 4 M BAA, 159, Mar. 12, 174°,-52°. See D. 133.
9 1926, Mar. 18.49 175.0 −20.5 5 M Comet 1556, Mar. 19, 179°,-26°. AMS 888, Mar. 20, 177°,-18°.
10 1928, Mar. 21.67 233.5 −30.5 5 M
11 1928, Mar. 22.67 286.0 −56.7 7 M Diffuse; Mar. 20–23 combined.
12 1928, Mar. 27.65 218.5 +2.9 5 T D. 166, 3, Mar. 20–23, 219½°,-2°; AMS 928, Mar. 30, 209.5°,-2°.5.
13 1928, Mar. 27.65 301.5 −38.9 5 T
14 1927, Mar. 31.44 185.0 −11.0 4 B ?D. 147, 3, Mar. 31, 195°,-6°.
15 1926, Apr. 10.56 220.0 −48.0 10 M BAA, Apr. 23–29, 210°,-50°.
16 1928, Apr. 23.69 309.0 −49.0 7 M
17 1928, Apr. 24.48 219.0 −26.7 5 B BAA 1211, Apr. 11–24, 216°,-26°; BAA, Apr. 22, 216°,-25°; BAA, Apr. 21, 218°,-27°.
18 1921, May 3.55 236.0 −47.0 4 M
19 1921, May 3.55 208.0 −41.0 4 M BAA, Apr. 23–29, 210°,-50°; BAA, May 9–10, 210°,-52°.
20 1928, May 3.69 336.0 −1.0 5 M Eta Aquarids. D. 258, 4, May 3, 337°,-2°; D. 258, 7, May 3, 338°,-2°.
21 1928, May 3.69 330.0 −0.2 4 M ?Eta Aquarids. AMS 183, May 3, 332°,-1°:2.
22 1927, May 10.68 240.0 −50.0 4 M See 24. D. 189, 1, May, 248°,-46°.
23 1927, May 11.67 190.5 −58.5 5 M May 10–11 combined. BAA, May 7, 185°,-54°.
24 1927, May 11.67 246.2 −46.0 6 M See 22. D. 189, 1, May, 248°,-46°.
25 1926, May 15.54 249.5 −25.0 8 M BAA, 39, May 17, 248°,-25°. Well known.
26 1927, May 26.44 237.0 −32.0 4 B
27 1927, May 29.41 241.5 −21.0 4 B D. 190, 4, May 20, 240°,-18°.
28 1927, June 1.67 322.2 −53.5 8 M See 31.
29 1927, June 1.67 321.7 −31.2 4 M
30 1927, June 1.67 315.0 −3.0 6 M ?D. 237, 13, May 26-June 11, 305°,-10°.
31 1927, June 2.68 330.0 −50.0 7 M Probably a poor position of No. 28.
32 1921, June 6–7 259.0 −20.0 14 M Diffuse. D. 190, 11, June 10, 259°,-23°; see also D. 190, 9; BAA. J. 32, 2.
33 1920, June 8.42 244.7 −21.5 5 M D. 190, 7, June 3, 248°,-20°; D. 190, 12. June 10, 247°,-18°; D. 190, 10, June 7, 249°,-21°.
34 1920, June 8.42 280.0 −23.0 4 M See 36. AMS 1054, June 15, 284.5°,-25°; AMS 1066, June 9, 290°,-15°.
35 1927, June 10.43 262.5 −38.0 5 B ?D. 210, 4, May 26-June 13, 278°,-35°.
36 1928, June 13.64 285.0 −31.0 4 M See 34. AMS 1054, June 15, 284°.5,-25°.
37 1928, June 22.68 345.7 −43.7 5 M
38 1928, June 22.68 293.2 −40.6 5 M See 43. D. 217, 2, July, 284°,-40°.
39 1928, June 22.68 322.5 −61.0 4 M
40 1928, June 22.68 297.0 −24.6 4 M ?D. 226, 5, June 28, 293°,-11°.
41 1927, June 24–26 331.0 −47.0 5 B
42 1927, June 24–26 309.5 −47.5 7 B
– 456 –
43 1927, June 24–26 284.0 −40.0 5 B See 38. D. 217, 2, July, 284°,-40°.
44 1927, June 24–26 306.5 −12.5 4 B D. 237, 5, June 28, 305°,-7°.
45 1927, July 3–4 328.0 −27.0 6 B
46 1928, July 13.65 344.1 −18.0 6 M See 57.
47 1928, July 15.76 8.5 −22.1 5 M
48 1928, July 15.76 15.5+20.4 1 M Stationary meteor. See D. 12.
49 1928, July 15.76 24.0 −8.0 5 M
50 1928, July 16.69 48.8 −9.3 4 M
51 1928, July 16.69 335.7 −24.7 6 M D. 262, 2, July 18–28, 335°,-27°.
52 1928, July 16.69 29.4 −20.0 8 M See 60. D. 31, 1, July 28, 33°,-20°.
53 1925, July 17.46 273.7 −40.0 4 M BAA, July 9, 273°,-42°.
54 1925, July 17.46 298.3 −24.5 4 M ?D. 226, 7.
55 1925, July 18–19 333.7 −32.0 10 M See 165. D. 262, 2, July 18–28, 335°,-27°; D. 262, 1, July 2-August 16, 342°,-34°; D. 262, 4 and 5.
56 1927, July 19.39 284.0 −25.0 4 B AMS 1048, July 19, 282°,-16°; D. 221, 2, July 18–31, 287°,-21°.
57 1928, July 19.68 352.5 −18.2 7 M See 46.
58 1928, July 19.68 21.0 −27.0 8 M
59 1928, July 19.68 22.7 −43.0 4 M
60 1928, July 19.68 28.5 −20.6 6 M See 52. D. 31, 1, July 28, 33°,-20°.
61 1928, July 19.68 335.0 +5.0 3 M D. 261, 3, July 5–28, 335°,+7°;. AMS 1160 (and others), July 25, 335°,+0°.5.
62 1927, July 20.10 265.5 −36.5 4 B Very diffuse. Comet 568, July 23, 262½°,-33°; ? D. 210, 6.
63 1928, July 23.43 293.0 −24.7 1 B Stationary meteor. See 54.
64 1928, July 26.67 341.6 −15.1 15 M Delta Aquarids. D. 263, 2, July 21-August, 340°.-14°.
65 1928, July 26.67 15.9 −12.1 5 M
66 1928, July 26.67 323.0 −40.0 3 M See 73. BAA 180, July 26, 328°,-39°.
67 1928, July 27.63 340.0 −16.0 26 B Delta Aquarids. See 70. AMS 1175, July 27, 339°.6,-15°.2; D. 263, 15, July 30, 340°,-18°; AMS 25, July 28, 337°.6,-15°.4.
68 1928, July 27.63 341.0 −28.5 5 B See 173. D. 262, 4, July 28, 338°,-28°; D. 262, 3, July 25–30, 343°-25°.
69 1927, July 28.50 348.0 −58.5 4 B D. 269, 1, July 22-Aug. 12, 350°,-62°.
70 1926, July 28.65 340.0 −17.0 5 M Delta Aquarids. See 67. AMS 1174, July 29, 339°.3,-15°; AMS 1175, July 27, 339°.6,-15°.2; D. 263, 6, July 27–31, 341°-13°.
71 1926, July 28.65 341.2 −10.0 5 M D. 263, 10, July 28, 341°,-1°; D. 263, 6, July 27–31, 341°,-13°; AMS 1178, July 28, 341°,-12°. See 72.
72 1925, July 30.60 343.2 −12.5 9 M See 71. AMS 198, July 31, 344°.2,-11°.
73 1925, July 30.60 322.5 −40.0 6 M See 66. BAA 180, July 26, 328°,-39°.
74 1927, Aug. 5.71 40.0 −44.0 8 T
75 1925, Aug. 14.48 339.2 −22.9 4 M See 80. AMS 1170, Aug. 17, 338°,-19°; BAA, Aug. 29–30, 339°,-26°; AMS 1183, Aug. 13. 342°.2,-16°.2
76 1925, Aug. 14.48 342.5 −8.5 4 M D. 263, 17, Aug. 1–12, 345°,-7°; D. 263, 20, Aug. 10–12, 342°,-12°; BAA 902, Aug. 10–14, 340°,-5°.
77 1925, Aug. 16.55 347.7 −26.5 4 M See 80.
78 1925, Aug. 16–17 352.5 −65.0 5 M BAA 171, Aug. 29–30, 345°,-60°.
79 1925, Aug. 18.56 46.7 −39.5 6 M
80 1927, Aug. 20.57 345.0 −29.0 5 B See 75 and 77. BAA, Aug. 25, 339°,-26°.
81 1927, Aug. 20.57 42.5 −68.0 4 B
82 1927, Aug. 20.57 19.5 −18.0 4 B
83 1921, Aug. 25.48 345.0 −45.0 7 M BAA 171, Aug. 29, 345°,-60° (?).
– 457 –
84 1927, Aug. 28.43 6.0 −44.0 4 B
85 1927, Aug. 28.43 1.5 −18.0 5 B D. 4, 4, Sept. 15–17, 1°,-15° (?).
86 1928, Sep. 18.67 36.3 −28.8 4 M Sept. 18, 19, 20 combined. See 180. Comet 1763, Sept. 20, 44°.5,-24°.
87 1928, Sep. 18.67 60.0 −17.5 5 M See 181. Comet 1854, 4, Sept. 10, 53°,-16°; Comet 961, Sept. 26–27, 62°,-13°.
88 1928, Sep. 18.67 92.5 −40.0 4 M
89 1928, Sep. 18.67 92.9 −1.0 8 M See 90. Parabolic orbit resembles
90 1928, Sep. 19.67 94.5 −0.0 5 M See 89. Comets 1874ii and 1827ii.
91 1928, Sep. 22.65 76.0 −34.3 5 M
92 1928, Sep. 22.65 100.0 −20.0 6 M
93 1927, Sep. 25.48 1.0 −66.0 1 B Stationary meteor.
94 1928, Oct. 14.59 56.0 +11.1 5 M See 98. AMS 699, Oct. 16, 54°,+12°; AMS, 251, Oct. 17, 55°.2,+9°.6; D. 49, 10, Oct. 8–12, 55°,+14°.
95 1928, Oct. 15.65 84.0 +10.0 7 M AMS 98, Oct. 18, 84°.2,+8°.6; AMS 104, Oct. 18, 84°.6,+11°.0; AMS 103, Oct. 18, 86°.8,+10°.8; D. 70, 6, Oct. 16–17, 86°,+8°.
96 1928, Oct. 15.65 89.2 +14.2 15 M Orionids. See 102, 108, 109, 112, 114. D. 77, 12, Oct. 15–16, 89°,+16°; AMS 92, Oct. 15, 89°.4,+14°.0. See 103.
97 1928, Oct. 16.64 51.6 −1.4 6 M AMS 248, Oct. 16, 50°.6,+1°.3; AMS 256, Oct. 19, 49°.5,-0°.8; D. 49, 11, Oct., 52°,+2°.
98 1928, Oct. 16.64 56.0 +11.0 2 M Confirms 94.
99 1928, Oct. 16.64 56.8 +6.4 4 M AMS 251, Oct. 17, 55°.2,+9°.6; D. 49, 13, 13, Oct. 29-, 54°,+6°; D. 49, 14, Oct. 31-, 54°,+7°.
100 1928, Oct. 16.64 80.6 −13.2 6 M D. 71, 3, Oct. 15–18, 84°,-11°.
101 1928, Oct. 16.64 90.0 +15.0 9 M Orionids. See 96, 108, 109, 112, 114. D. 77, 14, Oct. 16, 91°+15°; AMS 774, Oct. 16, 91°.0,+15°.5.
102 1928, Oct. 16.64 93.5 −17.8 5 M See 113. D. 78, 3, Oct. 12, 93°,-18°.
103 1928, Oct. 16.66 89.0 +12.0 4 B AMS 92, Oct. 15, 89°.4, +14°. See 96.
104 1927, Oct. 18.44 34.5 −5.5 3 B Including 1 stationary meteor. BAA, Oct. 10, 35°,-10°; BAA, Oct. 23–25, 32°,-9°; BAA, Oct. 27, 35°,-11°.
105 1927, Oct. 18.44 89.0 +15.0 5 B Orionids. Meteors too far from radiant for accuracy. AMS 378, Oct. 18, 89°,+14°.2; AMS 11, Oct 18, 88°.9,+12°.9. D. 77, 28, Oct. 18, 90°,+16°.
106 1927, Oct. 18.44 345.0 −34.0 4 B
107 1927, Oct. 18.47 71.5 +24.0 4 B AMS 96, Oct. 16, 77°.4,+20°; ?D. 64, 13.
108 1928, Oct. 18.65 91.6 +14.6 4 M Orionids. Poor position. See 96, 101, 109, 112, 114. D. 77, 28, Oct. 18, 90°,+16°; D. 77, 31, Oct. 18–21, 94°,+15°; Olivier, Oct. 18, 91°0,+15°.0; AMS 105, Oct. 18, 91°.2,+14°.2; AMS 114, Oct. 18, 92°.0,+15°.5; Dole, Oct. 18, 91°.5,+14°.8.
109 1927, Oct. 18.68 91.1 +15.3 4 M Orionids. See 96, 101, 108, 112, 114. See comparisons for No. 108.
110 1927, Oct. 19.56 34.5 −15.5 1 B Stationary meteor.
111 1928, Oct. 20.62 72.1 −13.0 5 M
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112 1928, Oct. 20.62 92.5 +14.2 12 M Orionids. See 96, 101, 108, 109, 114. AMS Oct. 20, 92°.0+,14°.0; D. 77, 44, Oct. 20, 91°.5,+15°.0; Olivier, Oct. 20, 91°.5;-15°; D. 77, 43, Oct. 20, 93°,+15°; Dole, Oct. 20, 93°.4, +14°.8; Harvard Photo. Oct. 20, 94°.1,+15°.8.
113 1928, Oct. 20.62 94.1 −18.8 6 M See 102. D. 78, 3, Oct. 12, 93°,-18°.
114 1928, Oct. 24.64 99.4 +13.7 9 M Orionids (including one stationary meteor.) See 96, 101, 108, 109, 112. Dole, Oct. 24, 99°.1,+16°.6; Olivier Oct. 24, 97°.5,+13°.0; AMS 807, Oct. 24, 97°.4,+15°.0, etc.
115 1927, Oct. 30.46 4.0 −18.0 4 B
116 1927, Oct. 30.46 24.0 −37.5 3 B Meteors close to radiant. BAA, Nov. 1–6, 30°,-35°.
117 1928, Nov. 12.64 98.0 +9.5 5 M AMS 165, Nov. 18, 95°.4,+10°.9; AMS 145, Nov. 14, 94°.4,+8°; AMS 399, Nov. 11, 103°,+8°.
118 1928, Nov. 12.64 106.2 +6.6 5 M AMS 285, Nov. 15, 107°.9,+7°.2; BAA, Nov. 6. 107°,+9°; AMS 399, Nov. 11, 103°,+8°; D. 91, 15, Nov. 10–13, 107°,+11°.
119 1928, Nov. 12.64 126.8 +1.8 4 M D. 96, 8, Nov. 7, 124°,+4°; D. 96, 7, Nov. 3–12, 125°,+5°; BAA 1140, Nov. 15, 124°,-1°; AMS 163, Nov. 16, 130°.7,-1°.2.
120 1928, Dec. 10.62 68.7+11.2 5 M D. 57, 9, Nov. 4, 63°,+10°; D. 57, 13, Nov. 17-Dec. 8, 64,+11°; D. 64, 20, Nov. 27–29, 70°,+15°.
121 1928, Dec. 14.63 111.7 −23.2 3 M Meteors close to radiant; also seen 1919 and 1920.
122 1928, Dec. 15.59 97.4 −0.0 2 M 1 stationary meteor included. AMS 434, Dec. 11, 85°.5,+2°.
123 1928, Dec. 15.59 110.0 −2.0 6 M Diffuse.
124 1927, Dec. 24–25 105.0 −42.5 4 B See 203.
125 1927, Dec. 24–25 132.0 −30.0 5 B
126 1927, Dec. 25.45 122.0 −45.0 5 B
127 1927, Dec. 25.45 140.0 −55.0 5 B
Table 3.
List of Uncertain Radiants.
Ref. No. Date G.M.T.d R.A. Dec. No. of Obs. Meteors Remarks.
128 1928, Jan. 3–4 86.5 −38.0 2 M D. 73, 3, Dec., 85°,-37°.
129 1927, Jan. 10.27 155.0 −25.0 7 B
130 1928, Jan. 19.53 132.5 −48.0 3 B
131 1927, Feb. 3.46 139.3 −25.5 3 B
132 1927, Feb. 3.46 137.5 −24.0 B Very diffuse.
133 1927, Feb. 3.46 150.0 −15.0 B See D. 114.
134 1928, Feb. 18.60 120.0 −27.0 2 M
135 1928, Feb. 20.63 285.0 −66.5 3 M
136 1928 Feb. 25.57 274.0 −45.7 3 M
137 1927 Mar. 6.59 277.0 −39.0 3 B Comet 1590, Mar. 8, 275°,-38°.
138 1927 Mar. 6.59 237.5 −17.0 7 B D. 178, 2. Mar. 7, 233°,-18°.
Notes: References to catalogues: D is Denning's General Catalogue, BAA is British Astronomical Association's Memoirs, etc., AMS is the work of the American Meteor Society.
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139 1927 Mar. 19.48 187.5 −40.0 3 M See BAA 160; D. 133, 1.
140 1927, Mar. 31.44 185.0 −69.0 B
141 1928, Apr. 14.56 255.0 −52.5 2 B
142 1928, Apr. 19.57 178.0 −61.0 2 B
143 1928 Apr. 19.57 241.5 −24.5 5 B Diffuse. See 145.
144 1928, Apr. 19.57 262.0 −32.0 4 B Diffuse.
145 1928, Apr. 21.66 242.0 −25.0 3 B See 143.
146 1928, Apr. 21.66 303.0 −56.0 7 B Very diffuse.
147 1921, May 3.55 1.7 −65.0 2 M
148 1921, May 3.55 286.0 −56.5 4 M
149 1927, May 10.68 136.2 −81.5 3 M
150 1927, May 10.68 360.0 −72.5 3 M
151 1927, May 11.67 246.2 −46.0 6 M See 22.
152 1928, May 30.67 285.0 −31.0 3 M BAA, May 27, 282°,-24°; D. 210, 4, June 4, 278°,-35°.
153 1928, May 30.67 315.5 −41.7 3 M
154 1928, May 30.67 336.0 −39.0 2 M
155 1927, June 2.49 243.5 −23.7 3 B D. 190, 7, June 3, 248°,-20°; D. 190, 10, June 7, 249°,-21°.
156 1927, June 2.49 277.0 −33.0 3 B D. 210, 4, May 26-June 13, 278°,-35°.
157 1927, June 3.49 319.0 −37.5 4 B
158 1927, June 2.68 309.0 −62.5 3 M
159 1927, June 4.68 342.0 −40.0 5 M
160 1927, June 4.68 11.2 −63.5 3 M
161 1928, June 13.64 347.0 −18.3 3 M
162 1928, June 22.68 274.0 −41.5 2 M
163 1928, June 22.68 352.5 −15.5 2 M
164 1927, June 24–26 327.0 −33.0 4 B
165 1928, July 14.62 330.5 −30.0 3 M See 55.
166 1928, July 15.76 12.5 +5.0 3 M D. 11, 2, July, 18°,+0.
167 1928, July 15.76 275.0 +2.0 2 M D. 212, 7, July 15-Aug. 2, 272°,+4°; D. 211, 4, July 5–25, 279°,+1°; D. 211, 3, June 26-July 11, 273°,-2°.
168 1928, July 16.69 327.2 −2.7 3 M D. 249, 8, July 25–31, 324°,-6°; D. 249, 5, July 21, 320°,-4°; See D. 251.
169 1928, July 16.69 342.2 −16.6 3 M See 170, 67.
170 1925, July 18–19 337.5 −10.0 3 M BAA 943, July 22, 338°,-10°; D. 263, 4, July 23–31, 338°,-11°; D. 263, 5, July 25-Aug. 1, 337°,-12°; D. 263, 1, July 20–31, 340°,-8°; BAA, July 12–24, 339°,-13°.
171 1925, July 18–19 331.0 −61.0 4 M
172 1927, July 28–29 28.0 −68.0 3 B
173 1927, July 31.47 342.0 −30.0 3 B See 68. D. 262, 3, July 25–30, 343°, -25°; AMS 1195, July 28, 349.5°,-32°.
174 1925, Aug. 18.56 55.2—28.0 3 M Comet 1558, Aug. 26, 65°,-22°.
175 1921, Aug. 25.48 300.0 −65.0 2 M
176 1925, Sep. 15–16 30.0 −44.0 3 M
177 1928, Sep. 18.67 82.2 −18.0 3 M
178 1928, Sep. 18.67 62.5 −52.0 2 M
179 1928, Sep. 18–19 41.0 +6.0 3 M D. 38, 1, Sept. 18–26, 43°,+7°.
180 1928, Sep. 22.65 41.0 −32.0 2 M See 86. Comet 1763, Sept. 20, 44°.5, -24°.
181 1928, Sep. 22.65 60.0 −20.0 2 M See 87. Comet 961, Sept. 26, 62°,-13°.
182 1927, Sep. 26.7 90.5+15.7 2 M Casually observed. D. 75, 5, Sept. 15–16, 88°,+17°.
183 1927, Oct. 16.42 52.5 −52.5 3 B
184 1927, Oct. 18.44 47.0+16.0 4 B
185 1927, Oct. 18.44 285. −33.3 3 B
186 1928, Oct. 18.65 65.0 −17.0 3 M Comet 1580, Oct. 16, 61°,-7°.
187 1927, Oct. 19.66 90.7+15.2 3 M Orionids.
188 1928, Oct. 20.62 80.0 + 3.5 2 M AMS 90, Oct. 15, 80.4°,-2°.7; AMS, Oct. 16, 79°0,+8°.4.
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189 1928, Oct. 20.62 104.0+17.0 2 M D. 90, 16, Oct. 27, 102°,+19°; D. 90, 9, Oct. 14–21, 105°,+22°; AMS 137, Oct. 26, 102°.4,+15°.3; AMS 817, Oct. 27, 102°,+15°.2.
190 1928, Oct. 23.64 93.5+14.9 M Orionids. Poor position.
191 1928, Oct. 23.64 63.0 + 6.0 2 M D. 60, 6, Oct. 22, 62°,+6°; AMS 273, Oct. 27, 61°.1,+7°.
192 1928, Oct. 24.64 51.0 + 4.0 3 M D. ·49, 11, Oct., 50°,+2°; D. 49, 13, Oct. 29, 54°,+6°; D. 49, 15, Oct.- Nov., 51°,+7°; D. 49, 16, Oct.-Nov., 50°,+6°.
193 1928, Oct. 24.64 72.0 −13.0 2 M AMS, Oct. 25, 64.1°,-16°.3.
194 1927, Nov. 4. 60.0+13.5 2 B Casually observed. See D. 53, 40, Nov. 6–8, 59°, + 15°; AMS 709, Nov. 6, 58°,+15°.6; etc.
195 1928, Nov. 12.64 83.0 −24.0 3 M ?D. 73, 1.
196 1928, Nov. 12.64 133.0 −18.0 3 M BAA, Nov. 13, 130°,-20°.
197 1928, Nov. 13.63 76.5 - 0.0 3 M D. 60, 8, Nov., 68°,+0°.
198 1920, Dec. 13.42 110.0+20.0 3 M D. 90, 23, Dec. 10, 11°,+21 ½°; D. 90, 22, Dec. 9–13, 109°,+24°.
199 1920, Dec. 13.42 120.0 −35.0 4 M See 202.
200 1928, Dec. 14.63 89.0 - 9.0 3 M D. 71, 4, Dec. 10–12, 85°,-10°.
201 1928, Dec. 14.63 143.0 −16.0 3 M
202 1919, Dec. 14–16 110.0 −35.0 9 M See 199.
203 1928, Dec. 15 59 105.0 −35.0 2 M D. 85, Jan. 105°,-27°. See 124.
204 1928, Dec. 15.59 157.0 −24.0 3 M
Table 4.
Magnitudes of Meteors.
Observer >1 1 2 3 4 5 6 Totals.
Bateson 1927 12 65 82 199 272 177 49 856
Bateson 1928 2 22 32 68 128 38 12 302
McIntosh 1925 14 55 39 29 27 1 0 165
McIntosh 1926 13 29 25 22 13 2 1 105
McIntosh 1927 25 30 28 30 14 6 1 134
McIntosh 1928 32 128 133 136 100 87 18 634
Thomsen 1927 3 9 17 19 11 7 6 72
Thomsen 1928 2 7 8 11 8 8 9 53
Totals: 103 345 364 514 573 326 96 2321
Percentages: 4.44 14.87 15.69 22.15 24.70 14.05 4.14 100.00
Table 5.
Colours of Meteors.
Observer Red Orange Yellow Green Blue White Total
Bateson 1927 38 2 5 24 6 543 618
Bateson 1928 21 4 1 9 6 192 233
McIntosh 1925 11 2 2 0 5 98 118
McIntosh 1926 12 1 5 0 20 64 102
McIntosh 1927 13 2 3 0 8 101 127
McIntosh 1928 75 15 9 2 52 376 529
Thomsen 1927–8 11 9 12 0 0 64 96
Totals: 181 35 37 35 97 1438 1823
Percentages: 9.93 1.92 2.03 1.92 5.32 78.88 100.00
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[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Table 6.
Durations of Meteors.
1927 Average Duration 1928 Average Duration 1927–28 Average Duration
Observer < 1s.1 all mets. < 1s.1 all mets. < 1s.1 all mets.
Bateson 0.580 (759) 0.726 (867) 0.556 (252) 0.708 (287) 0.574 (1011) 0.722 (1154)
McIntosh 0.480 (108) 0.686 (128) 0.471 (563) 0.518 (586) 0.473 (671) 0.548 (714)
Totals: 0.568 (867) 0.721 (995) 0.486 (815) 0.580 (873) 0.534 (1682) 0.655 (1868)

Explanation of Tables.

Table 1.—Details of Observations.—This table contains details of all the watches performed by observers. The various columns are self-explanatory. The rate actually observed per hour (column six) is corrected by a factor (column seven) which makes some attempt to correct the rate by allowing for such hindrances to observing as cloud or moonlight. The eighth column then gives the corrected horary rate, or the number of meteors seen by one observer in one hour under perfect observing conditions. In this no allowance has been made for the time spent in recording meteors (about one minute each for an expert observer). The estimation of rates from observations of less than one hour has not been attempted, and a minimum period of two hours would have been preferable. Members are urged to watch for longer periods in future, as they yield more accurate rates.

There is some difference of opinion among meteor observers as to the use of corrected rates. The practice here has been to make very conservative allowances for hindrances, and in most cases the estimated rates for cloudy nights have agreed very satisfactorily with those of adjacent nights when there has been no need to apply a correction. If any do not care to use the corrected rates, the uncorrected rates will be found in the table.

An inspection of the table of rates is of interest as showing very plainly that meteor rates in this hemisphere do not coincide in maximum with those observed in the Northern Hemisphere. The data given in the table are not extensive enough nor uniformly accurate, nor do they cover sufficient days in each month to give a true indication of the frequency of meteors in these skies, yet it has been deemed sufficient to give a forecast of rates, which the present year (1929) has shown to be correct. The following table gives an indication of meteor rates observed in 1927–1928.

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Meteor Rates In Southern Hemisphere.
Month Nights Observed Horary Rate Month Nights Observed Horary Rate
Jan. 8 11 July 14 20
Feb. 8 11 Aug. 10 20
Mar. 12 14 Sept. 6 13
April 8 15 Oct. 14 19
May 8 19 Nov. 2 9
June 14 17 Dec. 5 15

In the Northern Hemisphere the maximum activity of meteors falls in the second half of the year, and this is not due to the activity of rich meteor showers in July and August. The explanation that has been advanced to account for this is that meteor showers are grouped closely around the meteoric apex, or the point in space toward which the earth's motion is directed, and when the ecliptic (and consequently the earth's apex) is highest most meteors can be seen. If this were so we could reasonably expect to see more meteors in this hemisphere from April to July, when the apex is highest in our skies, than in other months when it is at a comparatively low altitude. The above table appears to confirm this view, showing a marked maximum for the winter months. The rate for October in this table is based on observations made only at the Orionid epoch, and is therefore probably somewhat higher than a rate based on the whole month would be.

By the end of 1929 it is expected that sufficient data will have been secured to enable the publication of a more comprehensive paper on meteor rates.

Table 2.—List of Radiants.—The policy of the section has been to determine radiants from meteors observed within a few hours on one night, not less than four paths intersecting within a circle 2° in diameter, or three meteors on one night and two on the following night, intersecting as described above, or one stationary meteor, being required to form a radiant.

Table 2 contains 127 radiants deduced from the maps of the various observers, and the accuracy of these radiants can be relied upon. The date in each case is given in G.M.T., to hundredths of a day. The number of meteors forming each radiant is also given as affording some indication of the accuracy of the radiant. In the remarks column, comparisons with the work of other observers are given in full, thus obviating reference and showing the standard of accuracy attained by our members. In a good many cases, of course, the New Zealand radiants must be more accurate than those they are compared with, being based on a larger number of meteors and extending over a shorter time-interval.

It must not be overlooked that, apart from the Orionids and the two Aquarid showers, all radiants found were previously quite unknown to the observers, who were thus denied the very real

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advantage of knowing what part of the sky to examine for meteors. The director has spent considerable time on the compilation of a catalogue of southern meteor radiants, and the publication of this will undoubtedly aid observers in future work.

In Table 2 no correction has been applied for zenith attraction. As most of the observations have been made after midnight and with the radiants at a fair altitude, the correction for zenith attraction is in general less than the probable error in the determination of the radiants.

Table 3.—Poorly Observed or Suspected Radiants.—In adhering strictly to the definition of a radiant as laid down above the director has felt that he was not justified in discarding altogether some other cases of radiation in which, for various reasons, the observers did not succeed in observing a sufficient number of meteors to entitle the radiants to inclusion in Table 2. These poorly observed or suspected radiants have been grouped together in Table 3. Of these 77 cases undoubtedly a fair percentage actually exists, and in some other cases radiants lie close to the positions given. The list should be useful to observers working on these dates in coming years. The arrangement of the table is similar to that of Table 2.

Table 4.—Magnitudes of Meteors.—This table gives details of the magnitudes of meteors seen by members. The falling off in numbers after the fourth magnitude is reached is probably due to the faintest meteors escaping recognition, rather than to any actual falling off in the numbers of meteors below that magnitude. It is important to note that more faint meteors are seen as an observer gains in experience, as shown to some extent in the table. It may also be mentioned that practically the whole of the observations were made in cities, with the consequent smoke and glare.

Table 5.—Colours of Meteors.—The colours observed in meteors are shown in this table for all meteors of magnitude four or brighter. Where no colour has been assigned by an observer the meteor has been treated as white. The meteors classed as blue by the director were generally no bluer than Sirius, and most of them should undoubtedly have been classified as white.

Only 16.6 per cent. of all meteors show a colour other than white. The table reveals some variations between observers. Bateson sees fewer coloured meteors than Thomsen and McIntosh.

Table 6.—Durations of Meteors.—This table gives an analysis of the durations of all meteors obtained by Bateson and McIntosh in the two years under review. The meteors with duration of 1.0 sec. or under have been treated separately, as any meteor having a duration greater than 1.0 sec. is certainly not a normal meteor. A comparison between the results of each observer reveals close agreement, although Bateson estimated his durations in quarter seconds while McIntosh made his estimations to tenths of a second.

In subsequent reports the statistical tables will be considerably extended and a number of new studies made, this being justified by the standard of accuracy attained by the individual observers.

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Unusual Meteors.

During the years under review only one bright fireball was reported in the press. The director gathered observations of this object, a bright, detonating fireball which was visible over most of the Auckland Province on 1928, October 27d. 9h. 50m., G.M.T. A full treatment of this interesting meteor has been published in the Journ. Brit. Astr. Assoc., vol. 39, p. 108. The data obtained were only approximate owing to the rough nature of the observations, but the co-operation afforded by the general public proved that even in a young country like this sufficient observers can be found to make investigations of such fireballs profitable.

The October fireball began 30 miles N.N.E. of Great Barrier Island and ended 10 miles S.E. of Clevedon. Its height was 75 miles at commencement and 25 miles at the end-point. The velocity came out as 27 miles per second, and the radiant was at R.A. 6°, Dec. 24° N.

The fireball was sufficiently brilliant to attract attention in a sky lit by the full moon. The nucleus must have approached ½° in diameter. Several observers saw the fireball break into several smaller balls of fire which quickly died out, and a sound like an explosion was heard all over the Coromandel Peninsula, which lay almost directly under the fireball's path. At Port Charles an explosion was heard three minutes after the passage of the fireball, and this was undoubtedly due to the ballistic wave from the movement of the meteor through the atmosphere. The time interval (3 mins.) would indicate a height at that place of about 36 miles, and the calculated height was found to be 43 miles, which is a good agreement, considering the vague observations made by most observers.

A long-enduring meteor train was noticed by Bateson on 1928, October 16d. 15h. 34m., G.M.T. A meteor as bright as Sirius was observed, covering an arc of 10° in 10 seconds, a remarkably slow body. Its colour was green. The train which it emitted persisted for 85 seconds, during which time it drifted slowly eastwards. Unfortunately the amount of this drift was not recorded at the time.

It was originally hoped to compute parabolic orbits for all the radiants given in this report, but the task was too great to be attempted single-handed, and after spending several months on this task the director found that he could not keep pace with the observations made. Possibly, by the application of a graphical method devised by Rev. M. Davidson, arrears can be overtaken in this direction in a subsequent report.

The year 1929 has so far yielded results surpassing in importance those contained in this report, and the director extends to all inactive members of the Society a cordial invitation to join in this fascinating work and thereby help to place the section on a secure footing. Every assistance will be rendered to inexperienced observers who desire to contribute to the work being performed.

Private Observatory,
1 Melford Street,
Ponsonby, Auckland.
R. A. McIntosh, F.R.A.S.,
Director.