Wednesday, August 12, 2020

watched meteors (Bradford)

Settled in in the middle of the yard, with Rhonda, facing east. Armed with smartphone, binoculars, and repellent.

Great skies! No clouds.

Jupiter was behind the trees to the south...

10:55 PM, Tuesday 11 August 2020. We saw our first meteor, a north-bound streak, bright fast. Curiously, not a Perseid... (1)

Took a sky reading with the Loss of the Night app. Did the main 8 stars then did another 3. With a profile this time... In night mode or red light, the constellation lines are too bright. It is really challenging with single-prescription eyeglasses! It said the sky was better than mag 5. I'll say!

Lyra up high. Tried to see the Double Double naked eye. I think I saw the wide pair...

11:09. A Perseid meteor went through the north wing of Cygnus and it was headed toward Aquila and Ophiuchus and it was faint and it was really fast. (2)

Aquila was nice. Altair, Tarazed, and Alshain.

11:28. Perseid meteor! Really long train, super-bright, headed towards the south-west. Twenty degree long train! Impressive. (3)

11:27. Perseid just above Pegasus, short short and fast meteor, not as bright as the other one. (4)

11:30. Super-fast one between Pegasus and Cygnus, fairly long meteor train, may be 15 degrees long. (5)

Ooh. Got my bearings. It was Cepheus! The house upside-down with the roof peak star aiming toward Ursa Minor.

Wow, Lacerta is faint...

11:54. Rhonda got one going through the Great Square. She said the meteor was short. (6)

Fired up SkySafari. It's really hard to see the constellation lines in red light mode.

I was looked at delta Cepheus. I thought it the same as eta less than epsilon. Mmm. No. Maybe more. Earlier I thought it was brighter. Now I thought that true. [ed: epsilon is magnitude 4.2; zeta is 3.5. So delta must have been around mag 4.]

And I did see the naked eye split of 30, 31, 32 Cygni. Never seen that before. 31 and 32 are easy. It's 30 that's really close to 31. Cool!

11:57. There was a flare, satellite flare near eta Cassiopeia. Rhonda saw it first. Not Space Station... Slow-moving, too brief. [ed: Checked Heavens Above but even with Starlink sightings enabled did not see anything! Unidentified.]

Midnight. Straight up, short, slow-moving meteor above Cassiopeia heading towards the centre of a Cepheus. (7)

12:02. Meteor, short one, that was kind of in Lacerta. (8)

Viewed two wide stars in Capricornus. Must have been the east ones. [ed: Yes, delta and gamma.]

Rhonda saw it first. I have never seen the Milky Way in the backyard before so it is pretty amazing, outstanding transparency. Razvan of RASC TC had said earlier he hadn't seen a prediction of "excellent transparency" for a while. It was really good for us.

12:14. Way off in the south-east which is over by Capricornus. Was the meteor going west? Odd angle. So maybe not a Perseid that one. (9)

Rhonda thought the sky darker. Yep. Right on schedule...

12:17. Meteor. Went to the south-west medium speed. (10)

Rhonda saw a meteor rising above the cedars. (11)

She enjoyed seeing The Dolphin.

Amazing skies. I was really impressed with all the stars I could see.

The Great Square climbing above the east hedge.

Could see the Andromeda Galaxy with averted vision.

Sagitta was overhead.

Tried to see The Coathanger but could not tag it.

12:22. Spotted a meteor just below Andromeda. A nearly horizontal short train, slow-moving, super-bright train though, glowed for a bit after it was gone. And I think the meteor itself was green! A great one. (12)

12:27. A short one between gamma and beta Andromeda heading to the south. Another meteor. (13)

12:38. Meteor, just to the right of the bottom of Cassiopeia and Andromeda. (14)

Saw the Water Jar of Aquarius, triad of stars. The water constellations were rising...

Looked at mu Cephei, the Garnet Star. Dim.

12:44. A short one went through Pegasus. Another meteor! (15)

12:40. Rhonda spotted a meteor over the house in the north going to the west. Below the upside-down Little Dipper. (16)

After Rhonda returned with her coat, I fetched my jacket.

Saw the Eiffel tower of Perseus. Almost above the cedars now. I could see Mars punching through in the east-south-east.

We talked about meteors, their origin, and how it is a very dynamic system.

1:08. It did look like the moonlight was becoming apparent. The sky was slowly brightening in the east-south-east. 

No bugs!

Aries was over the cedars now. 

Looked with the binoculars and I could see the Double Cluster. Couldn't see any of a deep sky stuff in Triangulum.

I could see 5 UMi and theta UMi without difficulty.

"Gimme a double!" Waited. Like Prospero after his appeal to the gods. No such luck.

We hadn't seen a meteor for a bit so packed it in. That was a good show!

Mars was fantastic, intense orange, bright! It's gonna be good...

1:23. Back inside. Wound down.

§

Received an acknowledgement of my LON submitted data on 8 Sep '20.

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