Observation by Bill W: (Suspected) Southern Taurid Spectrum

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Bill Ward


Bill W


2015 Oct 12 - 23:09


2019 Aug 11 - 00:58



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Field centre

RA: 22h41m
Dec: -46°54'
Position angle: -0°52'

Field size

0°06' × 0°01'

  • Watec 902H2 Ultimate
  • 12mm f0.8 Lens
  • 600 Line/mm grating

Kilwinning, North Ayrshire.

Target name

Meteor spectrum


(Suspected) Southern Taurid Spectrum

About this image

This is a re-working of a spectrum I caught a few years ago. It was a very bright meteor meteor suspected to be a Southern Taurid (fireball). Unfortunately there were no other stations that caught it so it remains a "suspect".

Interesting to compare with the Geminid Spectrum posted here. This one is at a slightly lower resolution than the Geminid. However the spectrum was nicely dispersed and positioned in the middle of the FOV (a rarity!) so the atmospheric lines in the near IR are shown as well. The software stretches the colour palate to cover the whole wavelength range so the "red" lines to the right are actually in the IR.

Both have strong sets of iron lines with their characteristic groupings in the blue and green part of the spectrum. The Taurid appears to have a stronger sodium emission. This is the "raw" spectrum without any instrument correction so as to give a  relative comparison to the Geminid which was graphically processed in the same manner.

PS. Following on from the note in the composite image, the dark absorption feature can be clearly seen in this colourised spectrum. There are other weaker and more diffuse absorption features caused by water and N2, quite fascinating in their own right!.

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