gamma Delphinids Tonight

The map above shows the worldwide possible visibility for the gamma Delphinid shower. Greener color is better.  Credit: Geert Barentsen, International Meteor Organization via NASA

The map above shows the worldwide possible visibility for the gamma Delphinid shower. Greener color is better. Credit: Geert Barentsen, International Meteor Organization via NASA

If you live in the shaded area depticted in the map above you might be lucky enough to see a rather rare meteor shower called gamma Delphinids. gamma Delphinus being the radiant hence the name.

Or not. Let me explain, on June 11, 1930 a flurry of meteor activity was seen in Maryland and reported by three observers from the American Meteor Society. The whole shower lasted only 30 minutes. No other reports of meteors are recorded for that night – anywhere. Why? I can’t say for sure, one thing could be there was a full moon (99.5 percent illumination) that night in so it was bright reducing visiblity. Another factor could be June 11, 1930 was on a Wednesday, considering the finacial turmoil going on, the people with jobs were meaning to keep them and were more worried about keeping them and not staying up watching the sky and the ones out of work had more to focus on. No matter, but it is easy to see why doubt has been cast that the shower occurred at all.

Peter Jenniskens a Dutch and US astronomer and a senior research scientist at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute and at NASA Ames Research Center and also an expert on meteor showers suggests the shower was indeed real and might be repeated 83 years later to the day, that’s tonight/tomorrow morning.

I’d be out there looking if it were not for the fact I have copious amounts of rain moving in (50 to 75 mm) so there is NO chance for me. If I were, I’d make myself comfortable in a reclining chair, looking to the East as the constellation Delpinids rises about 22:30 EDT and it is due East at 23:30 EDT not far above the horizon. The key word is comfort especially since this may or may not actually happen, but if it does and I could see it – cool! Oh and just for the record, the constellation Delphinus is within a few degrees of where it was 83 years ago so who knows?

I’d also probably put my camera out in a very dark location with no chance of a light flashing by and open the shutter and leave it for a suitable amount of time (like the whole time I’m out there) on a tripod (I’m just gloating because I found it LOL).

Here is a decriptive article by Robert Lunsford at the American Metor Society.

The AMS has a finders chart but sometimes it doesn’t show up for some reason, so here it is (credit: AMS via The Watchers) just in case.

What about Twitter?  Check out this NASA page for even more about the shower and Chat details.

Good Luck!!

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