Meteor observations: 1981
Harderwijk, the Netherlands (52.2 north, 5.4 east)
The year 1981 in images and words
In 1980, Robert Haas and I often cycled around in the vicinity of Harderwijk to find a suitable permanent location to do our observations and leave our gear after a observing night. That was a difficult task. We had observed a number of times on the watertower near Harderwijk, but this was done without official approval of the Waterleiding Maatschappij Gelderland (WMG). So, around Spring 1981 we asked official permission to observe on the roof of the watertower. We got permission, but only after renovation of the roof which took place in July 1981. The old fire house was removed, which was favorable for us because more space would be created on the flat roof. In late July, my father made a higher fence inside the roof edge because it was only 40 cm high. The tower is more than 12 meters high.
Picture 1 and 2: pictures of the old watertower in the woods near Harderwijk.
Once we observed on the watertower the number of observations quickly rised to a higher level. We had succesfull campaigns during the Perseïds, Orionids and Taurids that year. The Perseids were, for that time, a big success. Leading up to the maximum we observed during four nights: 2/3, 3/4, 4/5 and 5/6 August. The third night we were joined by three observers of the Working Group on Astronomy from Denekamp: Romke Schievink and the brothers Quirijn and Jerome de Jong van Lier. They arrived by sailboat in Harderwijk.
Picture 2: the only picture taken during the Perseids 1981 campaign. Fltr: Reyer Klopman, Koen Miskotte and Robert Haas.
Both maximum nights (11/12 and 12/13 august) were clear. Besides hundreds of meteors visually observed, 8 meteors were captured on photo. The best one was a -2 Perseide, trimultaneously photographed with the meteorgroups at Winterwijk and Buurse. Note I did not observe during most of the august sessions, because I operated the camera's.
Picture 4: nice catch during the Perseid maximum (12/3 august 1981). A -2 Perseid in Triangulum. Camera: Lubitel T-22 (75 mm F 4.5).
An impressive event was the fall of the big Taurid fireball on November 8, 1981. This magnitude -8 fireball was white and had a silver train/tail. The absolute magnitude was -12, from Oostkapelle Jobse Klaas took one of his finest pictures ever of a meteor.
Figure 1: plot of the -8 Tauridfireball of November 8, 1981.
In 1981 we also began to work with Hans Betlem and the Dutch Meteor Society.