Author: Paul Jones

August 12/13, 2017 Perseid observations from Matanzas Inlet, Florida – impressive!!

Greetings again all,     Amazingly, it cleared off pretty well for us last night, so Neal, Shadow and Shade Brown and I returned to the trusty east parking lot at Matanzas Inlet (MI) for two remarkably productive hours of 2017 Perseid meteor observing.     I logged two hours of observations from 10:00 p.m. to midnight and ended up with a total of 34 meteors, with 21 of them being Perseids.  Encroaching clouds and moonlight after 11:30 combined to make us close up shop early.  A total of 6 of the 21 Perseids seen were stunning, spectacular earthgrazers that had Neal and I hooping and hollering, big time!    By far the very best Perseid of the night came in the second hour.  It was a mind blowing, 70+ degree long, -1 magnitude Perseid “grazer”  that had a distinctly peachy pink coloration to it and left a spreading train behind it.  WOW!  We had it in sight for almost five seconds total as it shot down the summer Milky Way, Cygnus to Ophiuchus.   It was, I believe, the very first PINK colored meteor I have ever, ever seen in forty three years of meteor watching! Here is my data from the session: Observed for radiants: ANT – Anthelions PER – Perseids SDA: South delta Aquariids NDA: North delta Aquariids CAP – alpha Capricornids KCG – kappa Cygnids  August 12/13 2017, observer: Paul Jones, Location:...

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2017 South delta Aquariid and alpha Capricornid observations from North Florida

The following are summaries of my late July/early August 2017 observations from North Florida.  The weather was bad most nights,  so systematic observations were not possible.  I noticed and can confirm the obvious burst of South delta Aquariid activity that occurred on July 31!   Here are my data summaries: July/August 2017 meteor observations – Observer: Paul Jones Observed for radiants: CAP – alpha Capricornids ERI – eta Eridanids ANT – Anthelions PER – Perseids SDA: South delta Aquariids PAU – Piscis Austrinids NDA: North delta Aquariids GDR – gamma Draconids JPE: July Pegasids  Session One: July 20/21 2017, observer: Paul Jones, Location: North Bank of Matanzas Inlet, Florida, Lat: 29.75N, Long: 81.24W (approximately 15 miles south of St. Augustine, Florida). 10% cirrus cloud interference, Facing: south 0325 – 0425 EDT (0725 – 0825 UT), Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks 4 PER: +2(2), +3(2) 4 SDA: +3(2), +4, +5 1 CAP: +1 2 ANT: +2, +4  8 SPO: +2, +3. +4(4), +5(2) 19 total meteors  5 of the 19 meteors (2 PERs, 1 CAP, 1 ANT and 1 SPO) left trains. Yellow and blue tints were seen in the brighter PERs and the SDAs. __________________________________________________________________________  Session Two: July 21/22, 2017 Observer: Paul Jones, Location: North Bank of Matanzas Inlet, Florida, Lat: 29.75N, Long: 81.24W (approximately 15 miles south of St. Augustine, Florida).   0300 – 0400 EDT (0700 – 0800 UT) Teff: 1.0 hour, No breaks, LM:...

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Early May, 2017 ACAC observations of the eta Aquariid meteor shower from north Florida

Greetings again all, Members of the ACAC have already been out a few times in the pre-dawn (0400 – 0600 a.m.) monitoring the build-up of the 2017 eta Aquariids (ETAs) towards their maximum activity level over the next several mornings. Dave and Brenda Branchett have led the way from Deltona, Florida with several observations of moderate ETA activity so far.  I managed one hour’s observation  from the “meteor roof” of my home yesterday morning.  Here is the report on what we’ve been seeing: Observed for radiants: ETA:  eta Aquariids ANT: Anthelions ARC: April rho Cygnids SPO sporadic meteors May 3/4, 2017 Observer: Paul Jones. Location: 3609 Crazy Horse Trail, St. Augustine, Florida, Lat: 29.89.11 N, Long: 81.30.31 W (5 miles SW of St. Augustine, Florida) 0430 – 0530 EDT (0830 – 0930 UT) Teff: 1.0 hour, no breaks, LM: 5.2 sky conditions: clear, slight haze, facing: south 5 ETA: 0, +3(2), +4(2) 2 ANT: +2(2) 9 SPO: +1, +2, +3(3), +4(4) 16 total meteors All the ETAs were short-pathed (which is unusual for them).  The zero magnitude ETA flared a pretty golden color and left a short train.  The two ANT meteors were both long, slow and bright – very pretty meteors. Here are Dave and Brenda’s reports: Observer: Dave Branchett Location:  Lat 28.8766 deg N Lat 81.1803 deg W Private residence Deltona Florida. Date: 05/01/17 Time: 09:12 – 09:42 UT...

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May 6/7 2017 final eta Aquariid (ETA) observations from north Florida

Greetings again all, On this the last night/morning of dark sky viewing for the 2017 ETAs, Dave Branchett and I did them up right with a great pair of send off observing sessions in the pre-dawn this morning.  Dave was in Deltona and I was at Matanzas Inlet (MI), neatly sandwiching our sessions as we did between moonset and morning twilight.  As usual, the ETAs did not disappoint! My one hour session at MI began in moonlight, had a nice albeit brief period of lovely dark skies in the middle and then ended in rapidly brightening morning twilight.  It was a most unusual session, yet one that produced some stunning and memorable meteors throughout, both ETAs and non-ETAs. Here’s my data: Observed for showers: ETA: eta Aquariids ELY: eta Lyrids ANT: Anthelions GAQ: gamma Aquilids SPO: sporadics Date: May 6/7, 2017, Observer: Paul Jones, Location: Matanzas Inlet, Florida, Lat:29.75 n, Long: 81.24 w, LM- variable (5.0 – 6.5), sky conditions: clear with some haze and high humidity, facing: southeast 0435 – 0535 EDT (0835 – 0935 UT) Teff: 1.0 hour, no breaks 17 ETA: -2, 0(2), +1(2). +2(4), +3(4), +4(3), +5 2 ELY: +2, +3 1 GAQ: +4 8 SPO: +1(2), +2(2), +3(2). +4, +5 28 total meteors 9 of the ETAs left trains (all of the brighter ones), the -2 ETA as a bright golden yellow and some faint blue...

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April 21/22, 2017 April Lyrid maximum observations from north Florida

Greetings again all,      Five members of the Ancient City Astronomy Club (ACAC), St. Augustine, Florida had a pretty good look at the 2017 April Lyrid (LYR) maximum on Friday night/Saturday morning, April 21/22, even though sky conditions were a bit hazy and cloudy off and on throughout the night.   Overall, the LYRs performed pretty much as expected with no evidence of any type of outburst noted, not at least from our area, that is.      I joined Bob and Michelle Wolski at their home on the fairway of the St. Johns Country Club and we hung in there until 0430 on Saturday morning, seeing brief spurts of good LYR activity, interspersed with long lulls of inactivity.  My best hourly count during the session was 17 LYRs between 0200 and 0300 EDT.  After 4:00 a.m. though, clouds began to come in worse so we packed it in for the morning.     Brenda and Dave Branchett also got out at their home in Deltona, Florida in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning and they logged 18 LYRs during their best hour’s count, which agrees well with what I was seeing from St. Augustine.  Here is everyone’s data: April 21/22, 2017 Observer: Paul Jones. Location: Cypress Lakes Subdivision, Elkton, Florida, Lat: 29.47.51 N, Long: 81.22.31 W (8 miles SW of St. Augustine, Florida) Observed for radiants: LYR: April Lyrids SLE: sigma Leonids...

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