I got out on Butler Beach last night to beat the moonrise and check out how the meteor rates were in the early evening timeframe. Predictably, they were somewhat slow, but I still managed 17 total meteors in two hours from 10:00 p.m. to midnight under pretty nice skies.
When I got there a bit before 10:00 p..m., there was a pretty stiff south wind kicking up and scattering the bone dry beach sand around pretty much everywhere in true sandblasting style…;o). I noticed a few folks walking around the beach with flashlights, probably looking for sea turtles trying to nest.
I was thinking also that maybe I should have been counting airplanes, because they were coming at a major shower maximum rate…;o). I pretty much had no less than six or seven of them in the sky all at once for pretty much the entire two hours! A few artificial satellites weaved in and out around the airplanes as well…;o).
Here’s the (meteor) results:
Observed for radiants:
CAP – alpha Capricornids
JPE – July Pegasids
ANT – Anthelions
PER – Perseids
SDA: South delta Aquariids
PAU – Piscids Austrinids
GDR – July gamma Draconids
BPE – beta Perseids
July 24/25 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, 20% cloud interference, Facing: east
2200 – 2300 EDT (0200 – 0300 UT), Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks
1 CAP: +4
1 ANT: +3
5 SPO: +3(2). +4(2), +5
7 total meteors
2 of the 7 meteors (the CAP and the ANT) left trains. No meteor colors were seen.
2300 – 0000 EDT (0300 – 0400 UT), Teff: 1.0 hour, No Breaks, 20% cloud interference
2 SDA: +2, +3
1 CAP: 0
1 ANT: +3
6 SPO: +3(3). +4(2), +5
10 total meteors
3 of the 10 meteors left trains, the 0 magnitude CAP and both the SDAs left glowing trains behind them. No meteor colors were seen.
A few low, fast cumulus clouds began to come in off the south winds, getting more frequent in the second hour. And then the moon rose over the ocean a bit before midnight. The CAP in the second hour was long and lovely, with a couple of bursts along its almost 30 degree path and left a nice, puffy train behind it. A classic CAP! Both the SDAs were
quite pretty also. The waning gibbous moon rising over the ocean painted deep golden yellow was a very pretty sight as well!
Looking ahead, the rest of the week looks good in the weather department here in North Florida as the Bermuda High is still quite dominant. I think I’ll start my watches later in the night though, as there just isn’t much going on that first full dark hour of the night. A later rising moon each night will help in that regard as well.
More later, Paul J in North Florida