History of the EAMN
The EAMN formed from an amalgamation of meteor observers across Australia.† To understand the history of the EAMN, please read below the history of the former ASVMS (Astronomical Society of Victoria Meteor Section)
The Meteor Section of the ASV has been in operation for around 50 years. Its fair to mention that the information I have on the early beginnings of the section was handed to the section by Rod Brown a few years ago.
Through information from ASV Journals (1948 - 1974) and Yearbooks (1964 - 1992) it has been found that there was no mention of the section being in operation before 1947. In 1947 a number of sections were established these included the Variable Star, Mirror Making and Computing Sections.
In 1948 J. Fraser-Patterson sought support in establishing the Meteor Section. There was a number of reports by J. Fraser-Patterson that year and a mention of the section in a journal. It seems that despite the efforts of this gentleman, support for the section was not sustained and the section lapsed in that same year.
The current Meteor Section was formed in 1986 and its first director was Daryl Martin. In the years between there is mention of meteor related activity and talks. The Journals report on syllabus items at general meetings. In the 1960ís some keen observers, Bruce Tregaskis and Jim Trainor joined the society and the reporting of such phenomena picked up. In 1963 the Current Phenomena section was formed and it tended to focus on these sorts of observational activities. Both Jim and Bruce observed showers on occasions.
Daryl Martins name appeared as director in the years of 1987 and 1988. It seems that during this time Roger Vodicka was acting in an assistant directors role handling observations for the section. In 1989 no director was mentioned. In 1990 the current section director and longest running director, Roger Vodicka, was appointed. Since 1987 the section has been quite active with many observers putting in over 100 hours per year. The section has also developed and upgraded a meteor observing kit which is now in use. Currently Roger Vodicka is still the section director and I am acting in an acting directors role sharing tasks with roger. With the advent of the Internet the section has had much correspondence with overseas observers and has an e-mail address. This web page has been developed and is still under constant construction.
Since about 1993 the meteor section has been a little quiet with a lower number of observations being made, but the section is making inroads to get back on track with a bigger presence at meetings and events. The section is now producing a newsletter titled' METEOR' which is about 6 pages long and is out every 2 months. The kit has been upgraded as well as our observing forms. A database for our observations is being built by Roger and myself to increase the usefulness of our observations. The section has also been running bi-monthly meetings which have been very successful.
Observations in 1997 and 1998 have been increasing and have been of a good quality. The section now has around 15 - 20 members and is growing month to month with more people showing interese.† The end of 1998 was a highlight with the ASVMS trip to Woomera S.A to see the Leonids in November.† The Leonids put on a huge fireball display, the highlight for the sections biggest field trip to date.† It was well attended with about a dozen people going.† This time period also saw the birth of the EAMN (Eastern Australian Meteor Network) designed to incorporate meteor observers from all areas around Australia with website and newsgroup.
1999 saw an increase in meteor observing, and another trip for the Leonids, this time to Coonabarrabran, NSW, which was again well attended.
The next highlight for the section, and its greatest field trip ever, was the 2001 Alice Springs Leonids trip.† Almost 40 people attended, and were able to witness one of the greatest displays of meteors in recent history, with at is peak, 4000 meteors per hour visible to the naked eye.
The ASVMS changed directorship from Roger Vodicka at the end of 2001 to pass to myself until the end of 2004.
Observations have died back somewhat since, however, the major streams have been well covered in the years 2002 to 2006, particularly the Orionids 2006, which was well observed from the LMDSS at Heathcote.† This period also saw Lance Kelly take over the directorship in 2005.† Lance is the current meteor section director as at the start of 2007
The future looks good for the ASVMS and EAMN.
Asst Director, ASV Meteor Section.