(meteorobs) Re: NWM 98May3/4 Etas same

More of the same for the Etas  1998 May 3/4 here, too.  I observed 248 - 556
EDT (648 -956 UT) recording 38 meteors including 15 Eta Aquarids, 2
Sagittarids (IMO), 1 Mu Virginid, 1 Alpha Bootid, 1 Sigma Leonid, and 18
sporadics.  The sky was LM6.5 to 326 EDT  (726 UT), then LM7.0 until dawn
cut in at 540 EDT (940 UT).

Eta Aquarids averaged 2.92m for the 13 seen in LM7.0 sky, marginally
brighter than yesterday.  The first one waited until 331 EDT to appear, a
+4m going 40o in 2 seconds.  Two yellow 0m's were the best with trains 3s
and 1s.  I was looking at my favorite test wide-double +6m stars in
Equuleus, comfortably visible only 30o up, when a +6m Eta went three degrees
just north of Equuleus matching the stars nicely.  For the 2 regular full
hours 326 - 526 EDT  (726 - 926 UT) Eta rates were 2 and 9.

I forgot to consider leftover lunar twilight (my term) in the west yesterday
morning when I was distressed over the sky brightness.  The same thing
happened again, as on both occasions I timed my arrival to be shortly after
moonset.  It does take a half hour for the sky to get fully dark after the
moon sets.

I'm in on the Sagittarids now.  Just before 326 I saw a pair of them less
than a minute apart and on the same geometric  ray coming from the radiant.
They came directly from the radiant.  The Alpha Bootid was a nice slow
white-blue  +1m; the same goes for the white-yellow  +1m Sigma Leonid.  Only
the Alpha Scorpiids and Phi Bootids failed to show.  The 18 sporadics
averaged a very faint 4.27m; there were three +2m, one +3m, four +4m,  eight
+5m, and two +6m.  I haven't seen this many faint sporadics in a long time.

The best Eta nights lie immediately ahead.  So far these rates match what I
saw in 1995; about half the time this is as good as I get.  Etas can run at
half to 2/3 their potential quite often, much worse than Orionids.  A top
rate of 20 is very good for me, like happened once last year.  That
translates to a liberal ZHR of 40.

Iridium satellites haven't been all that frequent.  I would guess one or two
are seen in a week of observing.  So far -4m is as bright as I've ever seen.
Would like to see a -6m Iridium some time.  When the latest shuttle went up,
it made a nice pass over Fort Myers the same day  in deep twilight.  I had
time to get Joan out to see it nearly overhead at -1m, then move into the
earth's shadow and turn coppery-orange before disappearing.