I went out to Bootland Farm for a pre-dawn Eta Aquariids watch, and Shane Finnigan joined me.  The sky was really nice, and it was wonderful to hear a chorus of birds, owls, frogs and ducks.  It was a comfortable night to be out too.

Unless the Eta Aquariids are unusually active, it’s uncommon to see more than a few per hour from 45 degrees latitude.  The radiant is very low and by the time it starts to gain some elevation, the night is already over.  Occasionally, some really nice earthgrazers can make up for the low numbers!

As it turns out, I wasn’t disappointed.  A number of nice long ETA’s were seen; the longest was a 50 degree long earthgrazer of mag +1 orange-to-blue!  Good numbers of sporadics were seen and even the Eta Lyrids made an appearance.

The brightest was a mag 0 ETA that shot into the south near the Milky Way just as the night was ending.  My Canon 6D even managed to capture that one!

I observed the final 20 minutes in bright morning twilight in case the ETAs would be active as the radiant came up but none were seen.

May 5/6 2016, 06:30-08:50 UT (02:30-04:50 EDT)
Location: Bootland Farm (Stewartville), Ontario, Canada
(Long: -76 deg 29′; Lat: 45 deg 23′)

Observed showers:
Anthelion (ANT) – 15:44 (236) -20
eta Lyrids (ELY) – 19:20 (290) +43
gamma Aquilids (GAQ) – 20:28 (307) +14
eta Aquariids (ETA) – 22:24 (336) -02

06:30-07:30 UT (02:30-03:30 EDT); clear; 4/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.48; facing SE50 deg; teff 1.00 hr; temp: +5C
ETA: one: +1
ELY: one: +1
ANT: one: +3
Sporadics: seven: +2(2); +3; +4; +5(3)
Total meteors: Ten

07:30-08:33 UT (03:30-04:33 EDT); clear; 4/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.29; facing SE50 deg; teff 1.00 hr (3 min dead time); temp: +5C
ETA: four: 0; +2; +3; +4
ELY: three: +1; +3; +4
GAQ: one: +2
Sporadics: nine: +2; +3(3); +4(2); +5(3)
Total meteors: Seventeen

08:33-08:50 UT (04:33-04:50 EDT); clear (morning twilight); 4/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 5.10; facing SE80 deg; teff 0.28 hr; temp: +5C
meteors: none seen

Clear skies,

Pierre Martin
Ottawa, Ontario