The duration of this meteor shower extends from January 14-27. Maximum seems
to occur around January 21, from RA=160 deg, DECL=-59 deg, with ZHRs of 2-3.
This stream was discovered by C. S. Nilsson (University of Adelaide, South
Australia) from radio-echo observations made at Adelaide Observatory in 1961.
Three meteor orbits indicated a radiant of RA=156 deg, DECL=-65 deg, and a
possible nodal passage on January 19.
The Eta Carinids were again noted when radio observations were made at
Adelaide Observatory during 1969, by G. Gartrell and W. G. Elford. On this
occasion the equipment operated only during January 21-23, but 3 meteors were
again detected, this time from an average radiant of RA=160 deg, DECL= 63 deg.
The authors noted a similarity between this stream and other streams detected in
December and February and suggested they made up a family of high-inclination,
The first visual observations of this stream were made by Michael Buhagiar
(Perth, Western Australia). From observations made during 1969-1980, he
determined the duration as January 14-28, with a maximum of only 1 per hour
coming on January 21. The average position of the radiant was given as RA=163
deg, DECL= 57 deg when at maximum.
Members of the Western Australian Meteor Section (WAMS) obtained an
excellent set of observations of this shower during 1979. Meteors were observed
during January 14-27, from an average radiant of RA=160 deg, DECL=-58 deg.
Meteors were most numerous on the night of January 25/26, when the ZHR reached
1.770.25. Under skies with visual limiting magnitudes ranging from 5.0 to 6.5,
observers detected 16 meteors and determined the average meteor magnitude as
3.75 (the brightest meteors were of magnitude 2). None of the meteors left
trains and all seemed white in color. The shower was again observed during
January 19-27, 1980. On this occasion, a maximum ZHR of 3.030.23 meteors was
noted on January 21, from an average radiant of RA=160 deg, DECL=-59 deg.
Although observed during 1982, the shower was virtually nonexistent during the
interval of 1983-1986.