@planetmaker's answer to How can Mercury's sodium tail be imaged? links to Ciel et Espace (Sky and Space) and browsing through I found this tantalizing beginning of an article (reading the rest requires a subscription). From Les astronomes ont vu naître une nouvelle famille d’étoiles filantes : les Arides (Astronomers have seen the birth of a new family of shooting stars: the Arids):

Prédite par les astronomes, une toute nouvelle pluie de météores vient d’être observée pour la première fois, dans l’hémisphère sud. Baptisées « Arides », ces étoiles filantes résultent des passages d’une comète connue depuis 135 ans.

Ce n’est pas toutes les nuits que l’on découvre une nouvelle famille d’étoiles filantes. Dans la nuit du 28 au 29 septembre 2021, des stations d’observation néozélandaise et chilienne du projet CAMS, un réseau mondial de caméras qui surveillent les météores, ont rapporté la détection d’une quinzaine de spécimens issus d’un nouvel essaim qui n’avait jamais été observé. Une première confirmée par le radar SAAMER, installé dans le sud de l’Argentine. Au terme de trois nuits de comptage, plus de 100 trajectoires de météores ont été mesurées.

Arborant une magnitude moyenne de 4,7 (donc visibles à l’œil nu pour la plupart d’entre elles), ces traînées lumineuses provenaient d’un même point de l’espace, appelé radiant, situé dans la constellation...

google translated:

Predicted by astronomers, a whole new meteor shower has just been observed for the first time in the southern hemisphere. Called "Arid", these shooting stars result from the passages of a comet known for 135 years.

It's not every night that we discover a new family of shooting stars. On the night of September 28 to 29, 2021, New Zealand and Chilean observation stations of the CAMS project, a global network of cameras that monitor meteors, reported the detection of about fifteen specimens from a new swarm that did not 'had never been observed. A first confirmed by the SAAMER radar, installed in the south of Argentina. After three nights of counting, more than 100 meteor trajectories were measured.

With an average magnitude of 4.7 (so visible to the naked eye for most of them), these light trails came from a same point in space, called radiant, located in the constellation...

My reading of the translation suggests that fifteen recorded meteor trails triggered an alert that something new was happening, ultimately resulting in the discovery of a new meteor shower.

Question: Is the Arid meteor shower the first to be discovered photographically?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not sure if we can talk about "discovery": they were predicted, it is their first detection. The "quinzaine" is actually 13 objects, 9 that were triangulated by New Zealand and 4 by Chile. The telegram and a more friendly version. $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2021 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Jean-MariePrival Oh excellent! That's exactly the answer I need, and it's so definitive that I think I've removed the other part "how often has this happened" as it no longer makes sense in this question. I'll ask that separately. Please consider writing that up as an answer. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Oct 25, 2021 at 20:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ But in terms of temporality, I am not sure that this was the first photographic detection, there might have been others before, so I don't really have an answer to the question "Is it the first?". Anyway, I need coffee before considering doing anything else, that will be my morning temporality. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2021 at 7:53


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