September 1, 2007 - Aurigid Meteor Shower Radio Echoes

by Sam Barricklow


Setup: Icom IC-PCR1000

Right side audio - 216.98 MHz USB, antenna - 6 element M2 yagi pointed at an area 60 miles above a point half way between my location and Lake Kickapoo, Texas at an elevation angle of approximately 30 degrees, with a DownEast Microwave pre-amp

Left Side Audio - 61.239 MHz USB, antenna - 2 element wire yagi pointed at the zenith, with no pre-amp

The file name indicates the date and time in UTC, calibrated with WWV (calibration verified and updated 9/3/2007).

The following MP3 format audio files are listed by time of recording in UTC. The time listed corresponds with the start of the echo. Some of the tones are echoes from either aircraft or satellites. However, the high meteor rate produced almost constant echoes on the 61.239 MHz frequency. Suggest that you use headphones to listen, or use an audio player with a balance control. Note that due to the large number of echoes produced by this meteor shower, this list represents only a few of the meteor radio echoes heard.

11:26:18 UTC Note the right side audio from the 216.98 MHz receiver. Most echoes at this frequency are short duration. The echo begins as a rapidly changing doppler shifting signal that is the result of the shock wave that develops as the meteor enters the atmosphere, followed a short time later by a more stable echo produced by the ionized trail left behind by the meteor as it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere.
11:29:02 UTC Focus on the right side audio. I'm uncertain whether the echo in the left side audio (61.239 MHz) resulted from the same meteor or a different meteor.
11:31:35 UTC A weak distant echo on the right audio channel on 216.979 MHz.
11:31:44 UTC Strong echo on the right audio channel at 216.979 MHz.
11:32:32 UTC Strong echo on the right audio channel at 216.979 MHz. Note the absence of a shock wave echo.
11:33:47 UTC Focus on the right side audio. You'll hear an unusually long duration, but distant echo. A short duration shock wave can be heard on the right channel near the end of this recording.
11:39:04 UTC Focus again on the right side audio. This time, a meteor apparently passed almost overhead, and probably would have been visible from my location had I been looking in the right direction at the time.
11:39:58 UTC LARGE FILE - 2.7 M - Focus on the left side audio (61.239 MHz). A large fireball produced an echo that persisted for about 3 minutes, which was the longest echo heard on the 61 MHz frequency.
11:46:05 UTC This is a recording of a signal produced by a meteor's shock wave. No echo was detected from the ionized trail. Perhaps the meteor burnt up too far away to reflect the signal from the 216 MHz signal source.
11:47:47 UTC Focus on the left channel and a short duration tone that is a more typical meteor echo.
11:50:49 UTC Focus on the right side audio. Note the long delay between the shock wave reflection and the echo from the ionized trail left behind as the meteor burnt up.
11:50:03 UTC This is a very short duration recording of a shock wave echo on the right channel at 216 MHz followed by a short echo on the left channel at 61.239 MHz.
11:51:00 UTC Note that the echo from the shockwave is heard on the left side, at 61.239 MHz, but not on the right side. However, the echo from the ionized trail can be heard on both receivers and was the longest echo recorded on the 216.979 MHz receiver.

For more information on Radio Meteor Echoes, go HERE

Links to the G7IZU Radio Reflection Detection Page by Andy Smith

images of audio spectrum traces are here:

And, live data is posted here:

Go to the main Meteor Radio Echo page

Copyright 2007 - Samuel D. Barricklow - All Rights Reserved

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Last revised: November 28, 2008