Perseids Meteor Shower

For the next few nights there will be intense meteor scatter activity affecting the VHF bands, especially 6m, 4m and 2m. The Perseids Meteor Shower, which is the most intense meteor shower of the year, peaks on the night of 12/13 August. Some bursts of signals can be 20 - 30 seconds long … long enough to make a quick QSO on SSB or CW. The propagation and distances covered are similar to Sporadic E, but with openings of very short duration.

Keep a look out and be quick if you hear the DX and exchange callsigns and reports. You could be lucky! Remember you may only have a very few seconds to complete the contact.

Walt (G3NYY)

This in the current online Los Angeles Times:

European stations might like to leave a receiver on 143.050MHz. This is the French Graves Radar. You will hear meteor pings every few minutes and it’s a useful indicator of the number of meteorites about.

I was witness to the spectacular Perseids display from a campsite in Essex in 2002. I have tried to see them a few more times since, but without ever seeing anything on that level again. This year looks like it might be another good one, with an intense peak.

Met Office is showing cloudy skies for this area on Wednesday (12th) night, but clear tomorrow (Tuesday) night. Thinking of taking the SB6 beam up for some 6m fun after the 70cm contest, which I will do from The Cloud G/SP-015.

That reminds me that one night about fifty years ago I was watching the Perseids and there was a brilliant flash in the constellation Perseus - a fireball coming straight towards me!

It missed…


It’s been a damp squib here so far, half hour last night & an hour tonight (Tuesday) resulted in just 1 meteorite seen, I’d expect at least that many on random. Apart from the ISS & NROL, three unidentified satellites seen.

Sums it up for me as well Steve. After the 70cm contest last night, I put the SB6 up and waited for exciting propagation, and for some meteors. And waited. And waited.

Three G/GW stations worked on 6m CW, and one EA6. And not a meteor to be seen.

May try again for the peak tonight. Then again, may not bother.

It comes down to the effects of geometry!

The ZHR (Zenith Hourly Rate) is modified by the elevation of the radiant above the horizon. Perseus is low down until the hours before dawn and this greatly reduces the number of meteors seen. You multiply the ZHR by the sine of the elevation of the radiant in degrees, so that for instance at an elevation of 30 deg the observed hourly rate is half of the ZHR - sin30=0.5. The radiant is close to the horizon in the evening and the observed hourly rate will only be a few percent of the ZRH. Cutting to the chase, any exciting propagation would probably be in the morning rather than the evening. Those of us that only look for Perseids in the evening would be wasting our time if it wasn’t for the fact that the Perseids include a fair proportion of bright fireballs so just occasionally you will see something spectacular.


When I worked Iceland TF in the Perseids on random 2m SSB MS it was about 2am local. I’d heard few pings on 2m till well past midnight. There was a distinct peak in activity upto about 3am then reflections tailed off.

17ele Tonna + 150W RF

I’m not an expert on meteor propagation but I suspect that geometry is involved again. The meteors that the beam is looking at in the evening in the direction of TF or the continent are travelling on trajectories sub parallel to the horizon. When the radiant is high the beam will be looking at plunging meteors spending less time in the eye of the beam and perhaps favouring vertical polarisation. Does that sound reasonable to the experts?