I’ll piggyback on Brenda Branchett’s report on our rare opportunity to observe the 2016 Orionids side by side at hers and Dave’s lovely home in Deltona, Florida on Oct., 22/23 morning. Although we battled a 43% sunlit waning crescent moon high in the eastern sky, the Orionids did not disappoint us whatsoever! It was great to have some observing company again, too.
In addition to Brenda’s 90 minutes of observing time summarized below, I managed 2 full hours and logged a total of 45 meteors altogether in that time – 28 Orionids, 2 South Taurids, 1 epsilon Geminid, 1 possible Andromedid and 13 sporadics. The cool, crisp and clear air reduced the atmospheric scattering of the moonlight and made sky conditions remarkably good for meteors.
As Brenda mentioned, the overall highlight of our watch was a splendid, deep yellow, -4 Orionid fireball that raced north across Auriga leaving a nice train behind it. Orionid fireballs are somewhat rare, so seeing a beauty like that made the watch, but it wasn’t the only highlight. I also bagged a -2 Orionid low in the southern sky during the second hour and we both saw the possible Andromedid meteor low in the western sky cutting a slow path southward. It wasn’t very bright, only about +3 magnitude, but its slow speed and radiant line up made me pretty darned sure it was one.
With all the hubbub over Hurricane Matthew and resultant clean up, I am hopelessly behind on reporting our meteor observations. Both Brenda and I have been out quite a bit in October, despite the obstacles as both the Orionids and Taurids have been active and producing nice activity all month.
More catch up to come, keep looking up, Paul