March Aquarids


This daytime meteor shower was first detected by C. S. Nilsson (Adelaide Observatory) during 1961. Radar equipment was operated during March 11-16 and three meteors were detected during March 12-16 from an average radiant of RA=339.5 deg, DEC=-7.6 deg. Nilsson suggested the stream was closely related to the Northern Iota Aquarid stream (see August).

The stream was next detected during March 16-22, 1969, by G. Gartrell and W. G. Elford (Adelaide Observatory). Seven meteors were detected from an average radiant of RA=338 deg, DEC=-8 deg. The authors concluded that, although there was some discrepancy between the ascending node of the March stream and that of the July stream, "The correspondence of the longitudes of perihelion is excellent." They added that since the July stream was apparently broad, a link with the March stream "may still be acceptable."

Radio-echo equipment at Adelaide Observatory has produced two available orbits for this stream.


The Author has examined the original 39,145 radio meteor orbits obtained during the two sessions of the Radio Meteor Project. Although Zdenek Sekanina gives no orbit corresponding to this stream for either February, March or April, it seems the March Aquarids were present. The data indicates a very diffuse stream that begins in February and ends in April. Both of the above orbits could easily be represented among these radio meteor orbits and this might indicate that two or more filaments are present.