Despite some hazy nights, I was able to have a successful 2018 Perseids observing campaign with several nights of observing.  Here are my results, starting with the night of August 4/5…

I took up Shane Finnigan’s offer to setup and observe at his new house near Renfrew for the first time.  It is a big, quiet, beautiful farm property in a natural setting, with a wide open sky view, surrounded by a low tree line (which nicely blocks out passing car lights).  The night sky presents only two small light domes, one from Ottawa to the east and another from Renfrew to the north-west. The other horizons are dark.  I have no doubt that Shane will love the access to mag 6th skies from the comfort of his backyard.  Shane and I spent some time viewing the planets and a few DSO’s with an 80ED, then I took my chair and sleeping bag out into the field to setup for a meteor watch.  It was a humid night with hazy horizons and some cirrus clouds.  The transparency was only about 2/5 so I did not see the sky at its full potential there.  But the Milky Way was still nicely visible, and some casual meteors (early PERs and late SDAs) were seen.

I signed on formal meteor observing just after midnight, and I stayed on for two hours.  I faced south, looking generally about halfway up to have the best and darkest sky.  The Quarter Moon rose at 12:30 and reduced the sky darkness.  The tree line worked in my favour by delaying the moon’s visibility/glare for another half hour 🙂  The limiting magnitude was around 6.0, so it’s definitely a very nice location!

I saw 29 meteors (break down: 12 Perseids, 4 South Delta Aquariids, 3 North Delta Aquariids, 1 Kappa Cygnid, 1 Capricornid, 1 anthelion and 7 sporadics).  The Perseids were mildly active but already the most active meteor source in the sky.  The brightest one was a mag -1 PER but the mag 0 KCG was also very nice.  It was yellow-orange and moved slowly among the stars.

August 4/5 2018, 04:15-06:25 UT (00:15-02:25 EDT)
Location: Renfrew, Ontario, Canada
(Long: -76° 38′ ; Lat: 45° 25′)

Observed showers:
kappa Cygnids (KCG) – 18:40 (280) +45
alpha Capricornids (CAP) – 20:42 (310) -08
Anthelion (ANT) – 21:40 (325) -14
Northern delta Aquariids (NDA) – 22:36 (339) -01
Southern Delta Aquariids (SDA) – 23:04 (346) -14
Piscids Austrinids (PAU) – 23:18 (350) -22
Perseids (PER) – 02:26 (037) +56
eta Eridanids (ERI) – 02:36 (039) -14
psi Cassiopeiids (PCA) – 03:54 (059) +78

04:15-05:15 UT (00:15-01:15 EDT); clear; 2/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.13; facing S60 deg; teff 1.00 hr; 22C
PER: eight: -1; 0; +2(2); +3; +4(2); +5
SDA: three: +3; +4(2)
NDA: one: +2
KCG: one: 0
Sporadics: four: +3; +4(2); +5
Total meteors: Seventeen

05:15-06:25 UT (01:15-02:25 EDT); clear; 2/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 5.90; facing S70 deg; teff 1.08 hr; 20C
PER: four: +3(3); +5
NDA: two: +3; +4
SDA: one: +3
CAP: one: +2
ANT: one: +2
Sporadics: three: +4(2); +5
Total meteors: Twelve

Clear skies,

Pierre Martin
Ottawa, Ontario