Leonids 1996: preliminary results

Preliminary calculations of visual Zenith Hourly Rates (Marco Langbroek)

I have done some very (VERY) preliminary calculations, using Bob Lunsfords data, to get some insight into the Zenit Hourly Rates (ZHR) experienced for the maximum period, which California presumably experienced or was very close at. You find them below.Please note that this is very preliminary, and based on one observer only. So, it is only an indication (emphasis) of the ZHR levels. I choose Bob's data for several reasons: he reports a good Lm, made a good set of data available, and from earlier work with his data I now he has a perception which is quite the 'average' or 'standard' perception (i.e. Cp ~1.0). His sporadic rates combined with reported Lm's hint that his perception did not seriously alter due to the moonlight conditions. So for an indication, I think his data will suffice.I calculated ZHR's in ~1 hour intervals, with gamma 1.4 in radiant altitude dilution (gamma 1.0 would result in only slightly lower rates).I give two ZHR's: one under the assumption of a population index r=2.0, and one for r=2.5. The first assumes emphasis on bright meteors, the second assumes a faint component similar as what we saw in 1996 (but almost unnoticable due to the moonlight). For the moment, I think the r=2.0 column is most appropriate. In the last column, I give Bob's limiting magnitudes for reverence, because variations in Lm of course might influence rates slightly.

Please note the moonlight circumstances, so take it as an indication only.Activity seems rather constant at just above ZHR 100. Perhaps, rates where higher in the last hour, but this is sensitive to the Lm estimate (the effect disappears largely if the true Lm was higher). But the report of increased fireball occurence during this last hour suggest that rates might really have been higher (perhaps peaking after twilight set in?). During our 1996 European narrow peak we also experienced a fireball flurry besides the faint meteors (both Koen and me personally saw at leat 12 Leonids of -3 and brighter in one hour).I did not look at our Dutch results yet (still have to listen to my tapes: due to some personal circumstances that was not possible untill now. Koen will report his data within 1-2 hours from now to me), but if our estimate of ZHR 30-40 during our European Nov 17 night interval is correct, this would pretty well line up with the rates at about 100 or slightly higer for California. It suggest a B~1 structure, like 1994-1996, peaking over west USA/east Pacific.

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back.gif This page was last modified on November 19, 1996 by
Casper ter Kuile and Marco Langbroek