After several months of being away from observing, and having rather poor luck with weather for the late 2020 meteor showers maximums, it was good to finally be out again this summer. The period from late July and into August has long been among my favourite times of the year for observing. It’s hard to beat the mild nights, the drop in mosquitoes and the increasing meteor activity. The hot humid days, as well as the smoke in the atmosphere made observing more difficult, but things improved during the second half of the summer. Hard to believe that my first active meteor watch took until more than halfway through the year to happen!
So on the evening of July 30, I drove to Bootland Farm. It is still a nice dark sky site on a private property south-west of Arnprior. The property owner maintains the usual large rectangular grassy area. The site is still available for local amateur astronomers between the months of Spring and Fall. I have been using this site since 2004. On good nights there, the Milky Way can look quite impressive. I enjoy the quietness and seclusion there, with a low tree line/decent horizons.
On this particular night, the sky was okay but clearly affected by forest fire smoke in the atmosphere. The LP glows from Arnprior and Ottawa were more significant than usual, and some patchy cirrus clouds were present.
I meteor observed for two hours from 11pm until 1am EDT (local time), with a LM initially at 6.35 but gradually declining to 6.01 due to the Quarter Moon rising at midnight. During that time, I saw 20 meteors (6 Perseids, 3 anthelions, 2 alpha Capricornids, one July gamma Draconid, one Southern delta Aquariid and 7 sporadics).
The two alpha Capricornids were fireballs of mag -3 and -4. The first one was seen at 11:14pm EDT very low in the east and well into the treeline. It had a vivid blue-green colour and fragmented! It most likely would have appeared much brighter had it been overhead. The second alpha Cap fireball was seen just a few minutes before the end of the session. It was blue-white and produced a terminal flash in the circle of Pisces. Quite rewarding!
July 30/31 2021, 03:00-05:00 UT (23:00-01:00 EDT)
Location: Bootland Farm, Ontario, Canada
(Long: -76 deg 29’ West; Lat: 45 deg 23′ North)
IMO session: https://www.imo.net/members/imo_vmdb/view?session_id=82761
kappa Cygnids (KCG) – 18:38 (280) +43
July gamma Draconids (GDR) – 18:38 (280) +51
alpha Capricornids (CAP) – 20:28 (307) -09
Anthelion (ANT) – 21:24 (321) -16
Northern delta Aquariids (NDA) – 22:30 (337) -03
Southern delta Aquariids (SDA) – 22:45 (341) -16
Piscids Austrinids (PAU) – 23:14 (349) -22
July Pegasids (JPE) – 00:21 (005) +17
Perseids (PER) – 02:12 (033) +55
eta Eridanids (ERI) – 02:27 (037) -15
03:00-04:00 UT (23:00-00:00 EDT); 2/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.35; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
PER: four: +1; +2; +3(2)
GDR: one: +1
CAP: one: -3
ANT: one: +5
SDA: one: +5
Sporadics: five: +1; +4; +5(3)
Total meteors: Thirteen
04:00-05:00 UT (00:00-01:00 EDT); 2/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 6.01; facing S50 deg; teff 1.00 hr
PER: two: +1; +4
ANT: two: +1; +4
CAP: one: -4
Sporadics: two: +2; +5
Total meteors: Seven
Total meteors for this session: 20