Here’s my report for the possible December Phoenicids (PHO) activity on the evening of November 22.  This is a rare, periodic meteor shower that produced only one impressive display in 1956.  Its parent object is 289P/Blanpain, which is gradually transforming from a comet to a dormant object.  The Phoenicids were predicted and detected again in 2014, but at a much weaker level.

Meteor forecasters Mikiya Sato and Jun-ichi Watanabe previously predicted that the Phoenicids would return in 2008, 2014, and 2019.  For 2019, there’s at least two separate groups of dust trails predicted to encounter Earth, around November 23 and December 2:
The 2014 shower was successfully predicted and detected but at a much weaker level than in 1956:
Already this year, the Phoenicids were confirmed to be active by the meteor camera networks between November 12 to 14, 2019 from a much more northerly radiant at 01:00 (015) -07, just below the ecliptic, near Cetus.  This is very different than the 1956 radiant, and makes this shower more accessible to northern hemisphere observers:

Here’s another interesting article on this fascinating meteor shower:
Certainly, this shows that a lot can learned about a particular comet, by just looking at its meteor shower!

With a clear sky on the evening of November 22, I went to Renfrew (west of Ottawa) to observe for a few hours in the early evening.  I kept me expectations low (even a negative (no meteor) result can be useful, although I was hoping perhaps to see something more).  Dan Vasiu joined me as well, and it was a nice night with average transparency and a limiting magnitude of 6.3.  I began observing at 01:20 UT (8:20pm EST) and I continued for four and a half hours.  It was nice for a change to observe meteors so early in the evening.  A total of 47 meteors were seen (including 6 South Taurids, 3 North Taurids, 3 December Phoenicids, 3 November Orionids, 1 theta Aurigid, 1 Orionid and 30 sporadics.  The 3 December Phoenicids were plotted and fit the correct parameters to be Phoenicids (i.e. alignment, path length and speed).  They radiated from near the same radiant detected by the camera network between November 12 to 14.  The December Phoenicid seen at 04:57 UT was impressive… an extremely slow +1 yellow meteor that moved through Eridanus for several seconds.  It had a very gradual and unique light curve, showing no flares nor any visible wake.  It look just like an “ultra slow motion Geminid”.  What a sight!  Dan also saw another similar slow moving meteor that I missed; he drew it on a piece of paper and it would seem to be a good PHO candidate as well.  It appears that the December Phoenicids were indeed very weakly active on the November 22/23 night.  Although my three observed PHO’s isn’t much, the extremely slow speed makes these meteors very distinctive.

Two other highlights from this night: A -4 north Taurid fireball at 02:58 UT (21:58 EST) with multiple flares low in the south-west, and a +2 near point sporadic at 05:12 UT (00:12 EST).

Observation November 22/23 2019, 01:20-05:50 UT (20:20-00:50 EST)
Location: Renfrew, Ontario, Canada
(45°25’48″N 76°38’24″W)

Observed showers:
December Phoenicids (PHO) – 01:00 (015) -07
Northern Taurids (NTA) – 04:46 (072) +26
Southern Taurids (STA) – 04:54 (074) +20
November Orionids (NOO) – 05:44 (086) +16
November theta Aurigids (THA) – 06:13 (093) +35
alpha Monocerotids (AMO) – 07:55 (119) +01
Orionids (ORI) – 08:40 (130) +14
Leonids (LEO) – 10:43 (161) +19

01:20-02:20 UT (20:20-21:20 EST); clear; 3/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.30; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
STA: two: 0; +2
NOO: one: +3
Sporadics: six: +2; +4(3); +5(2)
Total meteors: Nine

02:20-03:22 UT (21:20-22:22 EST); clear; 3/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.30; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
NTA: three: -4; +2; +3
STA: two: +3; +4
PHO: one: +4
NOO: one: +4
THA: one: +1
Sporadics: ten: -1; +1(2); +3(3); +4(3); +5
Total meteors: Eighteen

03:22-04:22 UT (22:22-23:22 EST); clear; 3/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.30; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
NOO: one: +4
Sporadics: four: +2; +4(2); +5
Total meteors: Five

04:22-05:24 UT (23:22-00:24 EST); clear; 3/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.35; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
PHO: one: +1
STA: one: +4
Sporadics: seven: +2; +3(2); +4(3); +5
Total meteors: Nine

05:24-05:50 UT (00:24-00:50 EST); clear; 3/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.35; facing S50 deg; teff 0.42 hr
PHO: one: +3
STA: one: +3
ORI: one: +4
Sporadics: three: +3; +4(2)
Total meteors: Six

Clear skies,

Pierre Martin
Ottawa, Ontario