Greetings again all,

After two pretty much overcast nights, it was somewhat better this morning, so I ventured down to Matanzas Inlet to see what would happen. When I got there, the sky was full of long, thin wisps of cirrus clouds looking just like spokes of a giant wheel, moving slowly across the sky.

I figured I could see some meteors right through it, so I hung around and sure enough, after just a couple of minutes, a lovely long, bright and swift eta Eridanid candidate flashed through the wispy bands.  From there on, the meteors did real well going through, in, out and around the bands of cirrus haze.

Here my results:

  • CAP – alpha Capricornids
  • ERI – eta Eridanids
  • ANT – Anthelions
  • PER – Perseids
  • SDA: South delta Aquariids
  • PAU – Piscids Austrinids
  • GDR – July gamma Draconids
  • BPE – beta Perseids

Session One:

August 2/3 2016, observer: Paul Jones, Location: Location: North Bank of Matanzas Inlet, Florida, Lat: 29.75N, Log: 81.24W (approximately 18 miles south of St. Augustine, Florida). 25% cirrus cloud interference, Facing: west

0325 – 0425 EDT (0725 – 0825 UT), Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks

  • 13 PER: -1, +1(3), +2(2), +3(5), +4(2)
  • 4 SDA: +1, +2(2), +3
  • 1 CAP: 0
  • 1 ERI: +1
  • 10 SPO: +3(3). +4(4), +5(3)
  • 29 total meteors

9 of the 29 meteors (5 PERs, 2 SDAs, the CAP and the ERI) left trains. Yellow and blue tints were seen in the brighter PERs and the SDAs.

Session Two:

August 2/3, 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).

0425 – 0525 EDT (0825 – 0925 UT) Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks, LM: 6.9, Clear, except for some very slight haze near the horizons, facing: west

  • 17 PER: -2(2),-1,+2(4), +3(5), +4(4), +5
  • 5 SDA: +1(3), +2, +3
  • 1 CAP: -1
  • 8 SPO: +1, +2, +3(4), +4, +5
  • 31 total meteors

12 of the 31 meteors left trains (6 PERs, 4 SDA, the CAP and one SPO), a couple of the PERs were bluish and a couple were yellowish, as was the bright CAP.

It was a surprisingly successful watch, considering at times almost 70% of the sky was awash with cirrus bands.   However, the combination of bright ones shining right through the thin haze and faint ones hitting in between them, I did pretty good. Of course, the spectacular dark skies of Matanzas Inlet helped, too.  The bright PERs were so fast that the flashes of the -2s were almost after thoughts! That is, before you realize you saw them, they were already gone…;o).

Just before twilight became obvious, I was treated to an amazing display of zodiacal light in the east. It appeared as bright as or brighter than I ever recall seeing it before.  I could readily see how it earned its other popular name: “the false dawn”.  That is exactly what it looked like, creeping up the legs of Gemini and stretching into the Hyades and Pleiades.  It was a stunning view!

More later as the weather permits, Paul J in North Florida