(meteorobs) Observing Summary 25/26 June 2001 from NE USA (GRALE)

Southern New England experienced no June Bootid outburst last night! (Or at
least, not unless it happened after 2:30 Local when solid clouds rolled in.)

We got out for a fine evening of observing last night, both before AND after
moonset! In the evening, while we waited for the Cinderalla moon to disappear
at midnight, several ATM of Boston members had their own telescopes set up on
the Dennis Milon memorial observing field in Westford MA. We observed Mars as
it rose steady and baleful through the cirrus murk in the SE. Seeing varied a
good bit throughout the night, but several intriguing dark & light features
were noted with high power and various filters, through Kevin Ackert's fine
12.5" dob, John Bishop's excellent 5"(?) refractor, and other scopes present.

(Among features we tentatively identified were Syrtis Major, Chryse, and the
complex of south circumpolar dark features that includes Mare Erythraeum. I
hope Kevin Ackert can confirm some of these in a later post.) In between our
gawking at the Martial Star, we also got fine views of the Cat's Eye nebula,
M51, the Owl Nebula (low in the NW haze), and other bright chestnuts.

Then finally, as the Cosmic Nightlight hid itself behind the stand of trees
W of Milon field, Mike Aramini and I prepared ourselves for METEORS. Sadly,
this was the time the capricious and cruel Cloud Gods of New England chose
to begin tossing little blobs of scud cumulus over our heads! :( We finally
were able to begin a session at just past 1am, by facing ourselves NW, and
swiveling our heads frequently away from moving cloud-islands, so that our
field of view remained less than 20% obstructed most of the time.

Meteor Summary:

Observing Session: 25/26 June 2001, 0504 - 0611 UT. Breaks 6 mins.
Observing site: 071:30 W, 42:37 N, 85m elev. IMO Site Code: 25282.
Counting Method, using clipboard. Deadtime 5 sec / meteor deducted.

Average cloud cover 10% to 15% throughout session, except during
break. Seeing 4 out of 10 for session. Center of Field = Beta Dra.

PERIOD(UT) FIELD   LM   Teff   F     SAG JBO SPOR                   TOTAL
Non-IMO ("sporadic") radiants:                     taq ant nax sax
0504-0611  265+55  6.15 1.00h  1.16  1   1   8                       10
                                                    0   1   2   0

Showers watched for:
        SAG = Sagitarids (ecliptical complex), JBO = June Bootids
        taq=Tau Aquarids (DMS), ant=Anthelion sporadic "radiant",
        nax=Northern Apex and sax=Southern Apex sporadic "radiants"

Average magnitudes will have to await my full IMO report: all recorded
meteors were mag 2 or (mostly) fainter. The highlight of the night was
a startingly FAST early evening (about 10pm) -1 white Sporadic!

Note that some mosquitoes were in evidence, although Mike Aramini kindly
shared the artificial breeze of an electric fan with me for the session.

Clear skies all,
Lew Gramer (GRALE)

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