Greetings again all,

After several nights of clouds, I finally was able to return to the Matanzas Inlet site for a two hour, follow-up look at the ETAs this morning and darned if they aren’t still producing!  In fact, I had a respectable overall total of 38 meteors in the two hour session with 8 ETAs under a glittering, star-filled, pre-dawn sky.  I also caught 3 good candidates for the May beta Capricornid (MBC) radiant.

Here are the results:

May 14/15, 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

3 ETA: 0, +1, +3

1 MBC_ +2

12 SPO: -1, +1, +2, +3(3), +4(3), +5(2), +6

16 total meteors

0415 – 0515 EDT (0815 – 0915 UT) Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks, LM: 6.5 (twilight), Clear, Facing: East

5 ETA: +2(2), +3(2), +4,

2 MBC: +2, +4

15 SPO: 0, +1(2), +2(2), +3(5), +4(2), +5, +6(2)

22 total meteors

7 0f the 8 ETAs left visible trains, predominate colors were yellow and orange with reddish tints.

I had barely logged on and settled back to observe when a lovely +1 SPO shot south out of eastern Hercules. It looked almost like a late eta Lyrid (ELY) but didn’t line up well enough with the migrated radiant that shower would have had this morning, but it was nice anyway!  That meteor set the tone for many more bright and colorful meteors zipping in all directions from horizon to horizon throughout the entire watch!

About five minutes after that first meteor, I saw my first MBC candidate, a nice, bluish-white, +2 that shot straight north in eastern Cygnus. It tracked back perfectly to the projected radiant and although it resembled an ETA, it was way too far west to be one also it was distinctly bluish, which is a color I have yet to see any ETA exhibit.  Of course, most veteran meteor observers will admit that observed color in meteors is very subjective and rarely do any two folks agree on it

Two of the ETAs in the first hour hit within about 3 minutes of each other and both were spectacular – earthgrazers both over 30 degrees in path length with long, spreading trains – awesome!! Not long after, another ETA shot westward so fast that all I saw was the train it left behind sitting on the sky for several seconds!

The second hour was busy also as the activity picked up all around the sky and several more nice ETAs were spotted. Two more candidates for the MBC radiant were seen also, both showing exactly the same characteristics of the first one.  My seeing them left little doubt in my mind that all three were actually members of this recently discovered radiant.  The artificial satellite “parade” continued in earnest also this morning with around 20 to 25 of them spotted altogether!  I must say, they do add additional interest to these pre-dawn meteor watches!

Weather permitting there is a brief dark window after moonset in the morning, so I’ll be back at it once again for one more look before closing the chapter on the 2016 ETAs. It has indeed been a remarkable ride for them this year!


Clear skies all, Paul J in north Florida