Quadrantids 2000: Visual Observations

Erwin van Ballegoij, Yamanota, Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean

Hi everybody,

Below I present the results of my first meteor observations of this year. I wanted to start the Quandratid campaign on January 2, but rain prevented that. My second attempt on January 3 was hampered by thin clouds. Only the brightest stars were visible.
My third attempt (of last night) was more or less succesful. It could all have ended in disaster, because I didn't hear the alarm clock. A quarter of an hour later I woke up by myself. A quick look outside told me the night was promissing: some clouds and among the cloud there were stars. Even with my sleepy eyes I could already see faint ones. Quickly I packed my car and went off to my usual observing site at the foot of the Yamanota-hill. It took me longer than expected, because the excessive rains of the last weeks (remember, Aruba lies close to Venezuela) made a lot of ditches across the dirt road.
Finally I arrived at my observing site and I was disappointed to see the radiant just above my local horizon. I expected it to be much higher. But then again, I am living at a 12d30' lattitude. At 4 o'clock local time (8h UT) I could start my observations. Due to the low elevation of the radiant, I saw no Quadrantid in the first 30 minutes. In the second 30 minutes (with 8 minutes of clouds!) I saw 3 Quadrantids, in the third 30 minutes I saw 6 Quadrantids (again with 8 minutes of clouds!) and the last 12 minutes I saw only one Quadrantid before I had to stop because of the increasing cloud cover and the onset of dawn.
Besides 10 Quadrantids I saw 2 Coma Berenicids, 1 Delta Cancrid and 10 sporadic meteors. Two sporadics were noteworthy. Both were slow, had long trails with bright heads and came from the south. From my plots follows an intersection near the border of the constellations Carina and Vela (this radiant is not very accurate, only based on two meteors). Is there any known minor stream which radiates from this area? If there was some extra-ordinary activity, observers from the southern hemisphere should have seen more meteors from this 'radiant' (?). For me the 'radiant' (?) was only 30 to 40 degrees above the horizon. Can somebody confirm or deny the existence of this 'radiant'.

Observer:  Erwin van Ballegoij    IMO-id: VANER
Location:  Yamanota, Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean, 12d29'N, 69d56'W
Direction: East, elevation of 60 degrees
Date:      January 4, 2000

UT          Teff   Lm     F      QUA    COM   DCA   SPO   Total
8:00-9:42   1.01   6.03   1.02    10     2     1     10    23

(Classification of minor stream members by plotting all non-Quadrantids)

       +1    +2    +3    +4    +5    Total
QUA     1     3     2     2     2     10
COM           1           1            2
DCA                       1            1
SPO     1     2     4     2     1     10

(All stream abbreviations are IMO abbreviations)

A Happy and Clear 2000!

Erwin van Ballegoij
* Erwin van Ballegoij en Heidi van der Vloet *
* Tarabanaweg 9                              *
* Oranjestad, Aruba                          *
* tel: ++ 297 821918                         *
* e-mail: ballegoy@setarnet.aw               *

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Erwin van Ballegoij and Casper ter Kuile