Greetings again all,
I didn’t quite know what to expect from the ETAs this morning as I have never watched them this late in their maximum plateau before. What I saw from them though totally blew me away! For the third night in a row, I made the 18 minute drive from my house down to the dark, clear 360 degree skies at Matanzas Inlet and ended up considering it one of the best drives I’ve made in a long time…;o). Some lost sleep was a small, insignificant price to pay for what I was about to see.
I signed on at 0315 EDT and saw my first ETA at 0325 – a nice +2 with a train. After about a long twenty minute lull that had me a bit worried, the veritable ETA floodgate opened and from that point on until dawn, they proceeded to just about knock me out of my chaise lounge!!
Here’s my data:
May 7/8, 2016 Observer: Paul Jones, Location: North Bank of Matanzas Inlet, Florida, Lat: 29.75N, Log: 81.24W (approximately 18 miles south of St. Augustine, Florida).
0315 – 0415 EDT (0715 – 0815 UT) Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks, LM: 6.9, Clear, Facing: East
9 ETA: -3, -2, 0, +2, +3(2), +4(2), +5
3 ELY: +1, 3(2)
1 GAQ: +2
10 SPO: +1, +3(2), +4(4), +5(2), +6
23 total meteors
0415 – 0515 EDT (0815 – 0915 UT) Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks, LM: 6.3 (twilight), Clear, Facing: East
24 ETA: 0, +1(3), +2(5), +3(7), +4(5), +5(2). +6
5 ELY +1, +2, +3(2), +4
14 SPO: 0, +1, +2(2), +3(5), +4(2), +5(2), +6
43 total meteors
22 of the 33 ETAs left visible trains, predominate colors were yellow and orange with reddish tints.
The second ETA of the first hour this morning was the one that really opened up the “deluge”. It was a stunning -2 almost point meteor going north almost on top of the radiant about ten degrees above the eastern horizon! It was no more than two or three degrees in path length. About five minutes later, the reddish -3 ETA streaked also northward, about fifteen degrees long, leaving a long lasting and flaring train that hung on the sky for about eight seconds! WOW, was I ever pumped then! A few more “normal” ETAs rounded out the first hour and from there, I didn’t know what the second hour might bring…
The ETA activity then proceeded into high gear, big time and they were flashing and popping all over the sky from horizon to horizon for the rest of the hour! At one point, I had four ETAs all hit within about twenty seconds of each other and about a minute later, a fifth one rounded out the amazing mini-burst. No other minus magnitude ETAs were seen during this second hour, but I did see another one: a -2, flash through twilight in the northern sky from my car on the drive home.
In addition to the ETAs, the ELYs flashed up with some nice activity as well. And the sporadic rate was busy under the once again spectacular clear and dark skies of the Matanzas Inlet site. I hardly had a chance whatsoever to get fatigued or drowsy during the watch with all that activity going on! Oh, and there was also another occurrence of two simultaneous meteors during that second hour: one a sporadic, the other an ETA, perfectly coincided one another about twenty degrees apart and going in the same direction.
I am pleased to see our Canadian and European comrades confirming the amazing ETA activity this year as well. Seems the Force is with all of us this time around! Keep up the great work, Koen and Pierre! The ETAs show no sign of slacking off at all yet, so I plan to give it yet another go in the morning as the sky here in North Florida continues to be a wonderfully dark shade of blue…;o). When the “getting” is this good, you just gotta go with, man…;o). And, a Mercury Transit on top of it all?? Does it get any better than this…;o)??
More later, clear skies all, Paul