• Open Access

MU radar head echo observations of the 2011 October Draconids


E-mail: kero@johankero.se


On 2011 October 8, the Earth passed through a stream of dust ejected by the comet 21P/Giacobini–Zinner during its perihelion passage of the year 1900, causing an outburst of October Draconid meteors. 13 Draconids were observed among ∼6300 meteor head echoes with precisely determined orbits during an observational campaign ranging from October 8 05:00 ut to October 9 13:00 ut with the Shigaraki middle and upper atmosphere (MU) radar in Japan (34°.85 N and 136°.10 E). The meteor outburst occurred while the Draconid radiant was descending below and 2 h later rising up above the horizon. Therefore, 11 of the detections were from very low (<15°) elevation. The detection altitudes of the Draconids were high compared to sporadic meteors of the same velocity and radiant elevation. The weighted mean geocentric velocity of the 13 Draconids was 20.6 ± 0.4 km s−1, and the weighted mean radiant located at right ascension α = 263°.3 ± 0°.6 and declination δ = 55°.8 ± 0°.2.