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2012 Perseids

After a moonlit Perseid maximum in 2011, we had hoped to see many more Perseids in 2012. Observations of the early Perseids would be hindered by the Full Moon of Aug 2 and the Moon would be slow to move out of the evening sky afterwards. However, by Perseid maximum, the Moon would only be a waning crescent and thus more of an irritation in the later part of the night rather than a hindrance.

Unfortunately, the clouds didn't cooperate and clear skies were scarce. However, detailed visual reports were submitted by Alastair McBeath (Morpeth Northumberland), Graham Winstanley (Bassingham, Lincs), Jane Mills (Thrapston, Northants) and Tony Markham (Leek, Staffs) and radio results were submitted by Alan Heath. Summaries of visual results were also posted on the SPA Forum by Mike Feist (Portslade, Sussex), Robin Scagell (Flackwell Heath, Bucks), Kevvek (East Devon) and coldfieldboundary (Bruges). For further details, see forum.popastro.com/viewtopic.php

Peter Meadows (Great Baddow, Essex) was able to capture images of several bright meteors during the Perseid period using his video system. The images below show a Perseid at 23:55 UT on Aug 4 and a southern Delta Aquarid at 23:33 UT on Aug 11.

Fortunately, we can find out what we missed by looking to reports from around the world submitted to the International Meteor Organisation (IMO). Their activity curve (see imo.net/live/perseids2012/ ) suggests a peak ZHR of around 100 during the daytime of Aug 12, in line with predictions.

Added by:  Tracie Heywood