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Quadrantids Jan 03-04 2006
Long time-base plot of activity

Initial analysis shows a strong peak centered on around 05:00 utc on Jan 4th. Closer inspection shows quite elevated meteor rates during the afternoon of the 3rd, but no significant increase around the expected peak time of 18:20 utc. Note the steady diurnal change pattern on the days before and after the peak. This was used to advantage during the following analysis.


The 1st graph below shows the average meteor rates for two days on each side of Quadrantids peak, not including the shower itself. This was used as the baseline for the two graphs following it. The data used was my 10 minute count data. The vertical scale is the inferred hourly rate (10 min count x 6).

The “average” rates above (which could be argued to be a rough “sporadic background rate”) were subtracted in turn from the data for the 3rd and 4th, to produce the following two graphs of “variation from the average”.

The significant rates above the zero line should, in theory, be mostly caused by Quadrantids. Despite increased rates during the afternoon of the 3rd, there was no significant peak at the expected peak time of 18:20utc. Instead, maybe due to geometry between myself and my transmitters, a broad peak was seen between 01:00 and  09:00 utc on the 4th.



This report was posted to IMO-NEWS at YahooGroups
20 FEB 2005 09:55:20 UTC
Timing confirmed by Radio Obs – see below


 To: IMO-News mailing list <>

 From: Andri Knvfel <andre.knoefel@[address hidden]>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 18:10:30 +0000
Subject: [IMO-News] Daylight Fireball over the UK
In the last hours I received some reports of a daylight fireball in the UK.

Date. 2005-02-20
Time: 09:55…09:58 UT
reports from Richard White – Monmouth (Wales)
Ian Sleight – Stafford
Stephen Burt – Stratfield Mortimer (West Berkshire)
Karl Hibbert – Dunkeswell (Devon)
Peter Thomson – Bovey Tracey (Devon)

Path from south to northwest

 “Bright sunny morning, blue sky, when something caught my eye out of the window.  An extremely bright trail, white like magnesium with sparks in its trail of  yellow and blue.”

 “I was talking on my mobile phone and looking in the western sky approximately 280 degrees towards some Poplar trees when I saw a large blue-green object with a white core travel towards 290 degrees the events lasted about 4 seconds. Starting elevation approx 35 degrees finishing elevation 30 degrees. Speed approximation = medium.”

 “A few seconds before 0955 UTC today, Sunday 20 February I saw what appeared to be a very bright daylight fireball streak low across the western sky. It first caught my eye as a flash of green, and for an instant I thought it was a flash of sunlight off a turning aircraft. It brightened and moved very rapidly and developed a short intensely bright vividly iridescent green trail. It lasted no more than 2 seconds, maybe 3. The trail started about 250a azimuth and ended at 270-275a, at an elevation of perhaps 6-8degrees above the horizon.

 “Very visible in bright sunshine, incredible colours as it broke up,never seen anything like it in my life.”

 “Object appeared brilliant against clear blue sky in bright sunlight. Fragments were also brilliant and clearly separated. No trail of any sort visible in sky after event. Another witness confirmed colour as blue green and very bright.”

 Best wishes,

 Andri Knvfel
Fireball Data Center
International Meteor Organization

The above witnessed event was observed by this Radio Observation site.
The image below shows a strong reflection starting at approx 09:55:20 UTC, with the trail lasting for ~1.5 minutes.

10 Oct 2004 21:02 utc

Possibly part of the Orionids shower, this fireball was seen via signal reflection by myself.
I am awaiting reports from other observers. The upper signal is reflection from the
RTL Klub transmitter in Hungary (59.257 MHz), and the lower two
are SVT-1 Sweden – bottom, and TVE-1 Spain – middle (both 48.250MHz)

11 Oct 2004 15:52 utc

On the following afternoon I captured this impressive fireball signal.
Note the initial Doppler trace of the head of the meteor in the upper trace
lasting a few 1/100ths of a second, followed by the long trail reflection.
(Ignor the gently slanting line prior to the main reflection – this is local interference).

JULY 2004
12 Jul 2004 22:32 utc
(reported event time unconfirmed as ~00:15 Finland time, or ~22:15 utc)

Read news reports in Finnish and see images here, here, and here in English.

I captured the following image here in Plymouth. This was 15 minutes after
the observed events over Finland, so therefore it is not the same meteor.

This is a picture of a meteor smoke trail, taken from this Swedish report.

The Swedish report is translated here by Pekka Savolainen,
as posted to the MeteorObs mail-list (but spelling error corrected!)


“Never before have I experienced a phenomenon like this”, said the chief of the sea-rescue in Vasa
Night to Tuesday red balls of light was observed over the southern part of the Bay of Botnia.


“During the night before Tuesday (…13th July 2004…) emergency services and sea-rescue received
around 10 calls from people who believed they had seen emergency flares or something like it in the
waters between 
Jakobsstad and Karleby Sea-rescue estimate it that it was a meteor shower and not
a vessel in 

The reports came in to the emergency operators during approximately an hour. Three people
described the phenomenon exactly the same way and authorities believes based on this that it was
a meteor shower.

“I have worked here for nineteen years and not once have I experienced a phenomenon like this”, the
chief of the Vasa sea-rescue central Peter Sundell said to FNB. Johanna Aarnio saw the
phenomenon in the Larsmo archipelago. “The light I saw was large and bright but not red in color.
First it flew pretty straight across the sky, then it lost a little altitude and finally fell down in a
spiraling contrail. Before it disappeared it was as if it had blown up; first it was bright, then fainter
and seemed to have fallen into the sea. No sound was heard”, said Aarnio who was in the
archipelago with some friends.

A photographic society on a summer excursion to the Valsörs also observed the phenomenon and
suceded in taking a few pictures somewhat after midnight on the night before Tuesday. According to
Johan Geisor the phenomenon lasted for a few minutes.

“First I thought it was an aeroplane but as it moved across the sky we saw that it was something
else”, he says. The pictures the party had taken was received with great interest by the Ursa
astronomical society. According to the society’s papers’ editor Marko Pekkola the picture seems to
show meteor trails in the sky, something that according to him is a rare phenomenon in Finland. “It
is with some probability that it is not large pieces we are talking about in this case. In most cases
meteor fragments fall down in the size grains of sand”, he says. “More thorough mathematical
calculations are needed to say exactly how large the meteorite or meteorite trails where. If the
meteorite is made out of iron it can act as a spectacular sight in the sky while it in reality is much
smaller then one would think”, he says.

Marko Toivonen, who is responsible for the meteorite section at Ursa considers the Bay of Bothnia
meteorite to be an unusually large meteor.

Since the light intensity of a meteor is directly proportional to the size of the ball Toivonen suspects it
to have been a meteorite with a diameter or up to 2 meters. But more probable is that it was more
in the size of a soccer ball. It was not a question of space junk – the objects trajectory was all too
straight to have come from something out of orbit.

Patrik ‘Putte’ Henriksson

MARCH 2004

17 Mar 00:55 utc
Meteor (reported as a fireball) on the Internet in the following message in uk.sci.astronomy,
and observed at my station in the following dramatic image, and by Dave Swan
in Christchurch (240km east), and Chris Heapy in Macclesfield (~300 km north).
The visual observer, Lilian Hobbs, was believed to be in Southampton, ~200 km east of me.

In message
Lilian <Lilian.Hobbs@[address deleted]> writes

Did anyone else see the fireball at 00:55 tonight. I was just going out to move my dome when this fireball headed down through Gemini. It was so bright that it left a trail which lasted a few seconds. Its been a long time since I have seen one that bright.


From the visual observers’ point of view in Southampton, the fireball was reported to be seen passing “down” through Gemini. Here is the star field from that point of view.

Star map from SkyChart 3 (demo)

At 00:55 utc on March 17th 2004, Gemini was at an 274° Azimuth, 25° Elevation,
or basically west of the observer. “Down”, to me, would indicate a westerly heading
for the fireball. A very rough triangulation would put it descending across Mid-Devon
towards Hartland point.

16 Mar 2004 20:17 utc
Meteor reported on the Internet via this report in the uk.sci.astronomy newsgroup as follows:

Newsgroups: uk.sci.astronomy
Meteorite tonight
John Hirst <John.Hirst7(at)>
16 March 2004 21:34:09

My first post on this NG, so please be kind..
Tonight at around 20:15 GMT, I saw a very bright object fairly low in the sky travelling from the NE towards the South, parallel to the horizon. As it tracked southwards it began to break up and produce around 5 trailing bright particles. All of this took around 6 seconds from my first seeing it.

There were no clouds this evening. My point in this post is to say that I have never seen such a bright object move across the sky before, although I have witnessed many meteorite and Leonid showers, over the last few years, but this was more spectacular than all of these. I live in Dorset, UK.

Did anyone else observe ?

The fireball appears to have been captured here in Plymouth in this radio observation using HROFFT. Note the high initial Doppler shift as the meteor first entered the atmosphere, then the long reflection as the ionization trail dissipated. The delayed reflection from the Portuguese transmitter would tend to agree with the report that the meteor was traveling in a north-south direction.

Dave Swan also captured this event in the following image.

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The G7IZU Radio Reflection Detection page. A blog featuring articles about space weather, aurora, and things related to the ionosphere