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View of Earth from perspective of shower at peak of Draconid shower. Moon waxing gibbous 91%. [Average cloud cover]

Jeremie Vaubaillon
1900 trail:
peak ZHR = ~600
time = 19:57 UT (Oct 8)
radiant RA = 263.2 deg, DEC = +55.8
1873-1894 trails:
peak ZHR = ~60?
time = 17:09 UT (Oct 8)
radiant RA = 263.3 deg, DEC = +55.4


Danielle Moser (MSFC)
peak ZHR = ~750
time = 19:52 UT (Oct 8)

Esko Lyytinen
1900 trail:
time = 20:12 UT (Oct 8)
peak ZHR = 150
peak sol long = 195.038
duration FWHM = 70 min
1887 trail:
time = 17:02 UT (Oct 8)
peak ZHR = 16
peak sol long = 194.908
duration FWHM ~ 25 min
(update: 2011/1/21)

Mikhail Maslov
1900 trail:
peak ZHR = 40-50
time = 20:13 UT (Oct 8)
radiant RA = 263.3 deg, DEC = +55.8
speed Vg = 20.9 km/s
1894 trail:
peak ZHR = 8
time = 18:06 UT

Mikiya Sato
1900 trail:
peak ZHR = 500
time = 20:36 UT (Oct 8)
1873-1894 trails: peak ZHR = 100
time = 17:05 UT (Oct 8)

Draconid MAC
team leads:

Jeremie Vaubaillon,
Observatoire de Paris
Airborne observations Safire (CNRS) aircraft
[Career pages]

P. Koten,
Ondrejov Observatory
Airborne observations Falcon 20E (DLR) aircraft

Dr. Peter Jenniskens,
SETI Institute
Groundbased observations

V. Della Corte
Universita degli studi di Napoli "Parthenope"
DUSTER - Dust collection by balloon

Mission statement - The 2011 Draconids Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign is an international campaign to study the exceptional 2011 October 8 Draconid meteor outburst from the air and ground.

A number of projects are in preparation, all of which will be closely coordinated for highest scientific return. The vision is to have at least a two-aircraft campaign, to enable stereoscopic viewing, and to use either a balloon or aircraft to collect debris in the stratsophere.


Safire (CNRS) - P.I. Jeremie Vaubaillon

Safire (CNRS) The French Safire aircraft (a Dassault Falcon D20) is operated from Toulouse, France. It has ten window ports, but can only take three scientists onboard. Funding for flighttime was obtained and the aircraft will deploy to Kiruna for two 4-h missions, centered on each peak, with a 1-h refuelling stop. The following instrument PI teams will participate:

  • Jeremie Vaubaillon (I.M.C.C.E.), low-light level video cameras for meteor flux, trajectories and lightcurves - alternates: Francois Colas or Sylvain.
  • Detlef Koschny (ESA), widefield imaging with SPOSH, meteor trajectories and lightcurves. Instrument operator will be Jonathan McAuliffe of ESA/ESTEC.
  • Mike Taylor (Utah State University), atmospheric studies of airglow and meteors using InGaAs and intensified video techniques. Instrument operator will be Dominique Pautet of USU.
Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute will contribute an intensified slit-less meteor spectrometer.

view of earth

View of Earth from the perspective of the approaching Draconid meteoroids.

The period of shower activity stretches from 16 to 23 h UT on October 8, 2011. The view of Earth as seen from the shower during that time puts the best observing conditions first in central asia, then shifting to central europe.

The proposed flight path for the SAFIRE aircraft would be to fly from Toulouse to Kiruna, Sweden (about 68 deg N 21 deg E). In the evening of October 8, the aircraft would fly initially north to cover the first peak, then land and refuel, for a second leg east to cover the second peak of the shower.

DLR/Falcon checkout

Falcon 20 (DLR) - P.I. Pavel Koten

Falcon 20 (DLR) The DLR Dassault Falcon D20 aircraft is operated by EUFAR. It has ten window ports, but can only take three scientists onboard (as well as a DLR technician and the two pilots). The following instrument PI teams will deploy:

  • Pavel Koten (Ondrejov Observatory), intensified video cameras for meteor flux, trajectories and lightcurves.
  • Detlef Koschny (ESA), widefield imaging with SPOSH, meteor trajectories and lightcurves and high framerate imaging.
  • Juraj Toth (Modra Observatory) - meteor spectroscopy
Funding was received for 9-h flight time. This will make it possible to fly to Kiruna and deploy during the stronger second peak of the shower in a stereoscopic observing mode with the Safire aircraft during the second (east-west) leg of the main peak. Below is the flight plan.

flight plan

DUSTER (Proposed) - P.I. Vincenzo Della Corte of the Dipartimento Scienze Applicate Universta degli Studi di Napoli

DUSTER launched as a standalone small gondola in Svalbard in 2008 The proposed deployment of DUSTER from a balloon would occur some time following the Draconid shower in order to collect particles that slowly drift down. The sampling collection altitude is in the stratoshpere, between 30 and 40 km altitude. Prefered launching location: North America or Greenland. Prior launches were from Kiruna.

The collection device allows low-speed non-destructive and non-contaminant collection by sampling a sufficient volume of air. We estimated that a minimum sampled volume of about 20m3 will be needed to achieve the collection of several hundreds of aerosol particles even in low stratospheric load conditions. The collection technique we have chosen is the inertial collection. This is a well-established technique for solid particle monitoring, which is based on the decoupling between the gas flux and particle when proper acceleration is induced in the flux. DUSTER will provide a time-stamped record of the amount of condensed and solid aerosols, their size, shapes and chemical properties in the upper stratosphere.

Ground-based observations - Despite the near-full Moon, several ground-based observations are being planned, weather permitting.

In Kuehlungsborn, at the Leibniz-Institut fuer Atmosphaerenphysik, SETI Institute astronomer Peter Jenniskens is teaming with Michael Gerding of the Institute to study the Draconids by lidar. Carl Johannink and Koen Miskotte of the Dutch Meteor Society have volunteered to provide support with multi-station imaging of the meteors that may produce trains drifting by the lidar beam.

Pic du Midi will be a center of observations, with several amateur and professional observers settling there in an effort led by Francois Colas and Jeremie Vaubaillon of I.M.C.C.E. in Paris. The high-altitude location should minimize the adverse effects of scattered Moonlight.

Other ground-based observing teams are planning observations from Greece (Tholis Christou of Armagh Observatory) and the Czech Republic (Jiri Borovicka and Pavel Spurny at Ondrejov Observatory). Radar observations will be performed by the University of Western Ontario (Peter Brown) during daytime.

SETI Institute logo Curator: Peter Jenniskens
Responsible NASA Official: Jay H. Grinstead

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