Alpha Puppids

History

The discovery of this stream should be attributed to Ronald A. McIntosh (Auckland, New Zealand), who listed this stream in his 1935 paper, "An Index to Southern Meteor Showers." Based on two visual radiants detected in the period 1927-1934, the position was determined as α=117.5°, δ=-40.5°, while the duration was given as December 3-4.

C. Hoffmeister spent most of 1937 in South-West Africa, where he was part of an expedition to isolate meteor radiants in southern skies. Four possible Alpha Puppid radiants seem to have been detected: the first on December 6 (λ=253.5°) from α=125°, δ=-36°, another on the 8th (λ=255.6°) from α=124°, δ=-38°, a third on the 9th (λ=257.0°) from α=118°, δ=-45° and the final radiant on the 10th (λ=257.6°) from α=115 deg, δ=-40 deg. These observations seem to have offered the first hint that this stream produces a fairly diffuse radiant.

During the operation of radar equipment at Christchurch (New Zealand) during 1956, C. D. Ellyett and K. W. Roth detected activity from this radiant during 10 nights between November 17 and December 8. The resolution capability of the equipment was not especially high so that the α appeared to irregularly vary from 112° to 126°, while the δ fluctuated between -41° and -49°. The authors gave average radiant estimates of α=122°, δ=-45° for November 17-21, and α=120°, δ=-43° for November 27-December 8.

The Western Australia Meteor Section (WAMS) has recently obtained several excellent observations of this stream, which they refer to as the "N Puppids." In 1977, stream members were detected during December 2-6, with a maximum ZHR of 6.89+/-1.15 coming on December 2 from α=120°, δ=-43°. During 1978, activity was detected during November 25-December 6 and a maximum of 10 meteors per hour came on December 4/5 from an average radiant of α=118°, δ=-43°. The meteors were described as fast, with an average magnitude of 3.29 and a total of 2.2% left trains. The meteor colors tended to be blue-white or white.

The WAMS continued to observe this radiant during 1979 and 1980. In the former year, the duration of activity extended over the period of November 24-December 9. A maximum ZHR of 9.39+/-0.58 came on December 1 from α=116°, δ=-42°. In the latter year, observations revealed activity during November 29-December 15. The maximum ZHR reached 7.39+/-1.24 on December 5 from a radiant of α=128°, δ=-45°.