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Meteor Section, Bulletin No.2 -2- There are a number of bocks now available which will be useful to students of meteor- itics. A reliable star atlas of naked-eye stars is essential - my first choice would be Norton' s Star Atlas (Gall & Inglis) with Ray Coutchie' s Deep Sky Catalogue a close second, available from Ray Coutchie, 22018 Ybarra Road, Woodland Hills, California,USA. Fletcher G. Watson' s Between the Planets (available as a paperback from Doubleday- Anchor Bock N17) is a near-essential. In a large group, one individual should obtain McKinley' s Meteor Science and Engineering (McGraw-Hill). There are many others - some day I hope to send you a fairly comprehensive list. Do not forget the publica- tions "Sky and Telescope" and "The Review of Popular Astronomy". METEOR SHOWERS OF AUTUMN AND EARLY WINTER The ORIONIDS reach the maximum of their 8-day period on the evening of Thursday, 20-21 October. The radiant is located at RA 6 h 20 m, Decl. 15°N (10°NE of Betelguese, between Betelguese and Delta Geminorum). Thus the shower is at its best in the early morning with the radiant culminating (reaching its highest point in the sky) around 4 a.m. at which time the maximum rate of 15-20 Orionids and 7 sporadic (non-shower) meteors may be expected. The first-quarter moon will not interfere with observations of this shower. The TAURIDS are not a rich shower (of the 15 meteors per hour which may be expected under favourable conditions, only half will be Taurids); however, they have an extremely long period (about 30 days) and the long paths at low speeds make these meteors fascinating objects. They are associated with Encke's Comet; it is possible that they give rise to meteor showers on Wars, Venus and Mercury as well as on earth. During the period of maximum activity, from 1st to 10th November, the diffuse radiant is located in the area of the sky between Aries arid Aldebaran. The waning moon may interfere with observing during the early part of this period. Incidentally, this shower makes a "return visit" in the latter part of June as the daytime Beta Taurids, which can be observed only by means of radar. The LEONIDS are the most famous (or infamous!) of the periodic showers. They gave rise to spectacular displays in 1799, 1833 and 1866, but their failure to perform as expected in 1899 ruined popular interest in mteor observing for years. However, interest in this shower is reviving due to the unexpectedly rich display of 1961, and another rich return in 1965. There is an excellent chance that the night of 16-17 November will be an exciting one for meteor observers. The radiant is in the Sickle of Leo, and the moon is between new and first-quarter phase. If you have an interest in meteor photography, this is one night to keep your camera handy. If possible, observations on the nights of 15-16 November and 17-18 November should also be made, just in case the Leonids have other surprises in store. Good Luck! The GEMINIDS, like the Perseids, are classed among the "old reliables" of meteor showers. The radiant is near Castor, the period of greatest activity is between the 9th and 14th of December, and the maximum will occur on the night of 13-14 December, when the hourly rate should reach 50 meteors. The Geminids tend to be rather slow (not as slow as the Taurids) and bright Ä this is a good shower to try your luck with a camera, taking precautions to prevent the lens from dewing or frosting oven Culmination of the radiant takes place around 2 a.m.