Eta Draconids

History

No trace of this meteor shower seems to exist in the major lists of visual radiants, including W. F. Denning's 1899 catalog, C. Hoffmeister's 1948 book Meteorstöme, and the records of the American Meteor Society; however, both sessions of the Radio Meteor Project, conducted by Zdenek Sekanina during the 1960's, revealed consistent evidence of this stream's existence.

The first session covered the years 1961-1965. Activity was noted during August 28 to September 23. Sekanina said the nodal passage came on September 12.1 (λ=168.9°), from RA=248.8°, DECL=+63.4°. The second session covered the years 1968-1969, but activity was only detected during September 9-12. The nodal passage was determined to have occurred on September 12.2 (λ=169.0°), from RA=246.3°, DECL=+63.8°. The established Eta Draconid orbits from these two surveys are

ωΩiqea
1961-65167.9168.933.30.9960.5262.102
1968-69165.7169.031.90.9930.4651.856

Whether this stream produces a strictly telescopic shower is not currently known. The radiant is not well placed in the sky, as it crosses the zenith during daylight hours. The best time for observations is during the early evening hours following sunset---a period usually ignored by observers due to generally low meteor activity.