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The 1998 outburst and history of the June Boötid meteor shower



The June Boötid meteor shower (sometimes referred to as the Draconids) surprised a number of regular and casual observers by an outburst with maximum zenithal hourly rates (ZHRs) near 100 on 1998 June 27 after a quiescent period of several decades. A total of 1217 June Boötid meteors were recorded during regular visual meteor observations throughout this outburst. An average population index of r=2.2±0.10 was derived from 1054 shower magnitude estimates. The broad activity profile with ZHR>40 lasting more than 12 h and the large spread of apparent radiants in 1998 resemble the 1916 and 1927 outbursts. The peak time is found to be at about λ=95°.7 (2000.0); peak ZHRs are of the order of 200, whereas reliable averages reach only 81±7. The period of high ZHRs covered by a single observer implies a full width at half-maximum of 3–4 h. The resulting maximum flux of particles causing meteors brighter than +6.5 mag is between 0.04 and 0.06 km−2 h−1. The average radiant from photographic, radar and visual records is α=224°.12, δ=+47°.77. The observed activity outbursts in 1916, 1927 and 1998 are not related to the orbital period or the perihelion passages of the parent comet 7P/Pons–Winnecke. These are probably a consequence of the effects of the 2:1 resonance with Jupiter.