Δρακοντίδες 2011

η βροχή και η εκστρατεία παρατήρησής τους από την Ελλάδα …

ENGLISH

Drakontides 2011 – the Greek campaign for the Draconids 2011

Drakontides is the greek name for the Draconids, which are expected to display an unusual activity on 8th of October 2011. Modelers‘ predictions go up to 500-800 meteors per hour, as the trails 1900 and 1873-1894 are going to encounter Earth. Trail 1900 is already known to have given storm level activity during 1933 and 1946 encounters.

Under these circumstances there is a great opportunity to enjoy a great display of meteors (although hampered enough due to the bright moon) and to gather useful scientific data for this shower. Not much are known for the parent comet 21P/Giacobini–Zinner before its discovery in 1900. The trails 1873-1894 can provide valuable information about that. In addition, a large number of meteors provide a unique opportunity to study a large sample of these meteors, which are the slowest and most fragile.

Greece is located in a favorable position as far as the time of the predicted outburst and as far as the weather condition especially when compared with the rest of the Europe (see figure).

 Average dloud coverage during October, where bluer hues denote more frequent clouds. (© Jay Anderson, Uni of Manitoba)

Thus, an observing campaign has been organized in order to monitor the shower from the island of Crete, southern Greece. The weather conditions although not ideal favor the selection of Crete. Moreover, its large East-West geo-morphology with high mountains provide the ability to decide even at the last moment proper places according to the weather conditions, the locations’ characteristics and the needs of the observations.

Our plan is to set up at 2 or more video stations in order to perform double-station observations. Each station will be equipped at least with a video system and/or a DSLR camera, depending on the available equipment. So far we are equipped with 5 Watec cameras and various lenses. We expect more systems to be gathered as we have made this campaign an open project for any interested person to participate. Any help in the form of additional personnel, observing and recording equipment, portable power units and transportation will be appreciated and explicitly acknowledged in resulting research publications and other data products such as conference presentations, articles in popular press etc.

A supplementary goal would be to have visual observations. Although the majority of the meteors will be lost in the moonlight the rates could be significantly high to provide the opportunity to take advantage of any optical data gathered. We are fortunate enough to be at the same place where the 7th Panhellenic Conference on Amateur Astronomy will be held (Chania, 7-9 of October) ad they have already organized Friday 7 and Saturday 8 star-parties which are a great chance to have many people observing.

Keep in touch with the drakontides2011.wordpress.com as we plan to update it as frequent as possibly. Due to the orientation towards Greek speaking people the main language will be Greek but we are going to inform you of anything interesting also in English.

Coordinators:

Apostolos Christou / Armagh Observatory, UK / aac at arm.ac.uk

Vaggelis Tsamis / Astronomcal Society of Sparta, International Meteor Organization / vtsamis at aegean.gr

Grigoris Maravelias / University of Crete, Hellenic Amateur Astronomy Association, International Meteor Organization / gr.maravelias at gmail com

UPDATES
20110927: Tasos Margonis from TU Berlin & DLR joins the groups with a SPOSH camera !

20111009: Unfortunately the weather proved to be according to the most pessimistic scenarios and although we tried hard even at the very last minute to find places that will not be affected, we were unable to observe anything due to the clouds and rain. We hope the next time to be more lucky and of course that the rest teams have managed to get some valuable data! Thanks to anyone who contribute!

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