On this night, I decided to go to Shane Finnigan’s place near Renfrew (a little more than an hour’s drive from home).  Joining me was Todd Weeks and Raymond Dubois.  We made the most out of another clear and very transparent sky.  I brought my 12.5” PortaBall and Todd had his excellent 10” dobsonian.  Shane was out at an event for part of the evening, and then he joined us out in the field.  It was really nice getting the scopes setup under dark skies again, and we spent a few hours enjoying a variety of deep sky objects (many of the usual Messier objects, as well as some bright and more challenging NGCs).  It was especially fun to compare views.

I signed on for meteors at 1:35am EDT, and observed for 3 hours.  I saw 52 meteors (18 Sept Epsilon Perseids, 4 antihelions, 1 nu Eridanid, 1 eta Eridanid and 28 sporadics).  The SPEs were quite active, clearly the most active meteor source in the sky even a day or two before their predicted peak!  No fireballs were seen, but the brightest SPE was a mag -1 that shot 20 degrees and left a 3 secs train.  The third hour was very rich in sporadics with 14 of them seen — a large number were faint mag +4’s.

Before packing up, I took one more glimpse at the pre-dawn sky with my 12.5”.  The comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner was very high up and looked impressive at low magnifications (22mm Panoptic) with a tail that stretched across the entire field-of-view, and a large greenish coma.  This was my best view ever of it! Then, I turned my attention to Orion and M42 was fantastic — it displayed a rich wealth of details that looked almost three dimensional, and I could see faint reddish-pink hues near the core, WOW!!  It was well worth staying up for this, even despite the cold 0C or -1C with layers of frost!

Thanks to Shane for having us over at his beautiful, quiet rural property.  It was an excellent night, and the company was enjoyable too!

September 8/9 2018, 05:35-08:35 UT (01:35-04:35 EDT)
Location: Renfrew, Ontario, Canada
(Long: -76° 38′ ; Lat: 45° 25′)

Observed showers:
chi Cygnids (CCY) – 19:48 (297) +30
Antihelion (ANT) – 23:56 (359) -00
September Epsilon Perseids (SPE) – 03:06 (047) +39
nu Eridanids (NUE) – 04:12 (063) +04
eta Eridanids (ERI) – 04:36 (069) -04

05:35-06:35 UT (01:35-02:35 EDT); 4/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.55; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
SPE: seven: +2; +3(2); +4(2); +5(2)
Sporadics: eight: +2(2); +3(2); +4(2); +5(2)
Total meteors: Fifteen

06:35-07:35 UT (02:35-03:35 EDT); 4/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.55; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
SPE: six: 0; +3; +4(3); +5
ANT: three: +3; +4; +5
NUE: one: +5
ERI: one: +4
Sporadics: six: 0; +2; +3; +4(3)
Total meteors: Seventeen

07:35-08:35 UT (03:35-04:35 EDT); 4/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.55; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
SPE: five: -1; +2(2); +4; +5
ANT: one: +6
Sporadics: fourteen: +3(3); +4(8); +5; +6(2)
Total meteors: Twenty

Clear skies,

Pierre Martin
Ottawa, Ontario