Greetings again all,
Well, for seemingly the umpteenth time in a row, I awoke to perfect post-midnight skies this morning. The run of high pressure we’ve been having here in North Florida lately has been amazing to say the least. I only hope it can keep it up for awhile longer…;o).
Once again, I ventured over to Butler Beach to catch the pre-dawn meteor action and was not at all disappointed! Upon arrival, however, I discovered that even Butler Beach is not totally free from outside distractions. There was a shrimp boat just offshore, slowly trawling back and forth for shrimp with all its onboard lights blazing. It looked for all the world like a small floating city out there, just past the breakers! I had to position my knee to block out its lights – sort of like an eclipse or an occultation…;o). Finally, it moved off and took its lights with it.
Then just as the shrimp boat “city of lights” lumbered off, a thunderstorm on the southern horizon fired up and began to shoot bright flashes of lightning all over the sky every couple of minutes. That went of for about twenty more minutes, so the start of my watch was not memorable by any means.
I persevered though and when everything finally settled down around me, the meteors began to kick in big time! I had almost 50 of my 55 meteors seen during the 90 minutes from 3:30 a.m. to 5:00 a,m, That’s better than 1 every two minutes for over an hour and a half!! Shoot, even some major meteor showers at maximum can’t even do that!
Here’s the data:
Observed for radiants:
CAP – alpha Capricornids
SCA_ sigma Capricornids
JPE – July Pegasids
PPS – pi Piscids
CAN – C Andromedids
ANT – Anthelions
PER – Perseids
PSA: psi Cassiopeids
SDA: South delta Aquariids
July 14/15 2016, observer: Paul Jones, Location: Butler Beach, Florida (about three miles south of St. Augustine, Beach, Florida), Lat: 29.79 N, Long: 81.26 W., LM: 6.5, clear, Facing: east
0300 – 0400 EDT (0700 – 0800 UT), Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks
2 PER: +1, +4
2 PPS: +2(2)
1 PSA: +3
1 CAP: +1
1 SCA: +3
1 SDA: +3
2 JPE: +3, +4
1 ANT: +4
10 SPO: +1, +2, +3(5). +4(2), +5
22 total meteors
6 of the 22 meteors left trains, the CAP and the SCA were golden yellow.
0400 – 0500 EDT (0800 – 0900 UT), Teff: 1.0 hour, No Breaks
6 PER: 0, +1, +2 +3(2), +5
4 JPE: 0, +2, +3(2)
2 PPS: +1, +4
2 SDA: +2, +3
1 CAP: +2
1 PSA: +4
1 ANT: +3
16 SPO: +1(2), +2(2), +3(5). +4(4), +5(3)
33 total meteors
10 of the 33 meteors left trains, the 0 magnitude JPE and the +1 PPS were both blue-white in color and left glowing trains behind them. The brighter PERs were yellow in color.
I really did have a hard time keeping track of the data for awhile there this morning. They came in bunches at some points and all over the sky from horizon to horizon. I barely had time to evaluate a meteor for a radiant line up quite often before I’d see one or even two more right after it. Usually, it is a major shower max when this happens, like the PER or GEM max and you know they are mostly all from the same radiant.
Not so this morning though, I would see one I’d have to evaluate for one radiant or another, then see another one that may have come from a different radiant or even none of them! My ID calls were backing up two or three meteors deep a few times there. Never have I had that happen before that I can remember. The whole sky got into the act as well. I was picking most of the PERs off the NW and N horizons. It was like meteor anarchy up there…;o)!
I plan to squeeze this opportunity right to the max in the morning as moonset is around 0345 EDT. That gives me another 90 minutes of dark sky action once again! I’ll let you know it goes.
Clear skies all, Paul J in North Florida