2010 Perseids

Perseids is one of the most reliable meteor showers, with peak rate of more than 100 meteors/hour. It peaks on Aug 12-13th, warm weather across the world makes it more famous than its counterpart – Geminids. This year, the peak occurs 2 days after the new moon so it will not be interfered by the moon.

I decided to go to Henry Coe State Park to avoid being fogged out. The parking lot was almost full when my kid and I arrived around 10pm, but most people left before 2AM,only then Perseids became really active.

This was the first time we went to dark site for meteor showers, I was a little bit worried because I was not sure whether it would disappoint my kid.

I voice recorded meteor activities using my cellphone, between 12AM and 4h50m (PDT) 08/13/2010, except for the period between 02h05m ~ 03h40m as I was watching Perseids with my son. As far as I could tell, the rate remained at least the same during this period, or might have been increasing steadily as the radiation point was rising. Within 190 minutes, I recorded 205 meteors – 27 SPOs and 198 PERs, and my kids saw at least 50 meteors in about an hour. It made this a very pleasant trip.

There were mainly three types of Perseids:
1.Green & Blue Colored: Some appeared as yellow first, then turned to green & blue. Most were bright (>2m) and left trains behind. Literally they were the only Perseids observed before “yellow colored” appeared. They mostly appeared in the area near or reasonably close to the radiation point, and rarely in the area near the horizon.
2. Yellow/Yellowish-white Colored: Most were bright (> 2m) and left trains behind. They dominated Perseids after Auriga had risen above the horizon. They were mostly observed near or towards the horizon (which means that they appeared lower in the sky, and farther away from radiation point than “green & blue colored”).
3. White Color: Most were faint (<3m) and moved swiftly, seeming that they were moving on the surface of water. They were visible throughout the night.

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