Results of Observations in January 2014 of a meteor shower of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)

From January 10-17, 2014 the Earth was calculated to be passing through the long tail of COMET ISON. This project was designed to look for meteors possibly connected to ISON. I assisted a (Ukraine + Belarus) team of astronomers to analyze data collected from analysis of 54,000 images from Belarus, Ukraine and Spain. 43 meteor phenomena were detected. The results were statistically significant and confirmed the earth did pass through the tail of ISON even though by that date, ISON had already vaporized. My role was involved in the study of the radiant (the point in the sky where meteors radiated) : i.e. to confirm this meteor radiant was consistent with NASA’s published ISON comet orbit parameters. This required a collaboration between myself and Dr. Lubos Neslusan of Slovak Academy of Science (who had written a FORTRAN app which calculates a radiant given an orbit) . We were guided by NASA/JPL Comet orbit expert Dr. Alan Chamberlin who provided the ever-changing Comet ISON orbit parameters.

The published paper is here.

Bill Smith

PS words of caution : although the paper documents what appears to be compelling results, I have recommended the team repeat the experiment next January 2015 to confirm the meteor statistics over the same period, drop back to the 2012, 2013 levels.

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