Forums Meteors Quadrantids 2016 Hi,

Bill Ward


Things just got interesting again…!

One of the other NEMETODE observers, Allen Carter, now runs a system identical to mine (A Watec 910/12mm f0.8/600g/mm) and managed to catch a couple of spectra from the peak of the Quadrantids. Allen kindly sent me his images to analyse and the results are great.

Last year seemed to indicate a very distinctive spectrum for the QUA meteoroids. My spectra were quite conclusive on the composition but being a single station there was the possiblity of mis-identifying a weaker Dec Alpha Draconid stream as a QUA.

There seems little doubt now that the QUA’s are “sodium deficient” cf magnesium. What this means has to do with the parent body and it’s possible origin and orbit. That’s now a whole new story to be explored…

Here is one of my spectra from last year.

and here is Allens from this year (basically yesterday, at date of posting!)

I’ve added the main lines for comparison. Mine caught a little more in the near IR so has a longer wavelength span but it is clear the blue/green regions are almost identical. Importantly both having a large Mg peak.

There may be wavelength resolution limits which has some impact on line ID with video work but I think this is an excellent example of the utility now to be had from meteor spectroscopy on conducting comparative analysis (just like my STA examples). The key issue is that unlike imaging, spectroscopic observations can be directly compared station to station essentially without ambiguity.


Thanks to Allen Carter (and other Nemetode stations) for his support in providing his observations to me.

Now all we need are some spectra of the Dec Alpha Draconids to be able to compare stream to stream!