This year had a possibility of enhanced Draconids activity (see https://www.imo.net/possible-draconid-activity-next-week/) so I made a special effort to observe, particularly on the night of October 6/7 when the two dust trails were predicted. Unfortunately, the weather was poor, and there appeared to be little chance of seeing anything on that night. I kept an eye on the clouds movements all day and I was a bit hopeful when a small opening in between the clouds was predicted to form to the south-west of Ottawa. It was a long shot but worth a try for a chance of seeing rare meteors. I drove 190 km south-west of Ottawa to the Lennox & Addington Dark Sky Site which appeared to be well positioned for the hole. When I arrived in the evening, it was completely overcast however. The satellite imagery showed that any clearing still had a long way to go before I would even see any signs of it. It was a bit discouraging to drive that far and not see anything around the interesting times, but I wasn’t ready to give up. I decided to setup my mattress in the car to sleep for a couple of hours, and then check for any improvements.
I woke up at midnight, and the clouds were beginning to break up. Taking a glance at the satellite image showed that a small hole was finally approaching, so I setup my chair up on the observing platform (which had been modified with glow-in-the-dark with spatial distancing in mind). At 12:30am (EDT), I started casual viewing with around 50% clear skies, and at 12:50am, I finally signed on with a clear sky. By then, the gibbous Moon was high, the sky had a reduced limiting magnitude of only 5.3, the Draconid radiant was much lower, and the clear break lasted only 53 minutes. Only three meteors were seen (two sporadics and one South Taurid). No Draconids were seen, even though one meteor made a good impression of being one (too large miss distance to radiant). After that, the clouds thickened and it was about to rain, so I packed and headed back home.
Observer: Pierre Martin
IMO Profile: https://www.imo.net/members/imo_user/profile/?user_id=8022
Session Link: https://www.imo.net/members/imo_vmdb/view?session_id=81646
Session Date: October 6/7 2020, 04:50-05:43 UT (00:50-01:43 EDT)
Location: L&A County Public Dark Site, Ontario, Canada (Long: -77.116 West; Lat: 44.559 North)
Draconids (GIA) – 17:32 (270) +56
Southern Taurids (STA) – 01:50 (028) +08
October Camelopardalids (OCT) – 10:57 (164) +78
04:50-05:43 UT (00:50-01:43 EDT); clear; 1/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 5.30; facing NNW60 deg; teff 0.883 hr
STA: one: +5
Sporadics: two: +2; +4
Total meteors: Three