On the late evening of August 19, I picked up Nicholas Zuger, we loaded all the scope and camera gear in my car, and off we went to Bootland Farm. This night was more of test run of equipment, and doing some casual imaging. The sky was affected by poor transparency (1/5) due to forest fire smoke, but I managed to capture 21P/Giacobini-Zinner (3 weeks before perihelion), M31, Double Cluster and
A few nights later, Dan joined me and we met up with Jim Sofia at Bootland Farm. Jim had his beautiful 18” and I set out my 12.5” PortaBall. The sky was very humid with poor transparency, but the seeing was remarkably good. I spent a good part of the night observing globular clusters and small, bright planetary nebulae (Blue Snowball, Saturn nebula, Eskimo, Blinking, and others &mda
I nearly skipped the following night because the sky took a lot longer to clear and I was tired from all the observing. But it was finally looking like the west end would clear up at about 2am. I’m very glad I took a chance and went! When I arrived at Bootland, the sky was a glorious canopy of stars all over; the clearest sky since August 9! The sky transparency was above-average transp
After some much needed sleep, I went out two nights after the peak, this time on my own. The sky was hazy due to forest fire smoke but clear. I setup at midnight, and observed for 3 hours. I saw 66 meteors during that time (breakdown: 39 Perseids, 6 South Delta Aquariids, 2 North Delta Aquariids, 2 antihelions, 1 Capricornid and 39 sporadics). I was quite pleased with the numbers of PERs (with
During the day, Raymond Dubois and I discussed where to go for the peak of the Perseids. We found the possibility of clouds encroaching from the south overnight, so we decided to drive 3 hours north into Quebec to La Verendrye Forest Reserve. Once at the airstrip, we saw people at the other end so we checked it out. We were greeted by a small group of Quebec observers setup with their scopes f
I spent the morning sleeping in at Bootland Farm, then relaxing in Arnprior before Raymond Dubois joined me there. We looked at the weather and discussed on the location to go for the next two nights. We decided to stay put for the pre-max night, and then re-evaluate the weather the next morning. After relaxing under Raymond’s large truck awning, we went to the Antrim Truck Stop, then ba
The following night, I was out again at Bootland Farm to observe. I went with a full load of camping gear, as the weather looked favourable for the next few nights. I decided to sleep there at the end, and then decide where I wanted to go next without requiring a trip back home.
This time, I had the company of Dan and Jim Sofia, setup with 8” SCT and MallinCam. The sky was clear but
The next opportunity came a few nights later, when the sky cleared after a cold front swept through and a high pressure system started settling into Ontario. I noticed that the sky would clear up completely at about midnight, so I went to Bootland Farm.
WOW!!! The sky was fantastic and beyond my expectation! The Milky Way was thick and structured! The sky was full of faint stars, right u
Here’s my results for the morning of July 31th 2017. Fourth night in a row! Once again out at Bootland Farm for a two hour pre-dawn session. The sky was crystal clear, and it was very mild at +15C but humid. Between 2:00-4:19am (2 hours not including breaks), I saw 53 meteors. Another fun session for sure! The dominant showers were the S. Delta Aquariids (with 19 seen) and the Perseid
Shane and I returned to Otter Lake the following night to view the post-maximum night. The sky was very clear with excellent transparency, and the temperature low was -24C (-11F) and it felt quite comfortable and not as cold as the previous night. I kept my camera setup simpler this time; no tracking, just fixed camera on tripod aimed to the south-east.
The weather cooperated very nicely for last December’s excellent Geminids meteor shower peak! Shane Finnigan, Raymond Dubois, Aero the dog and myself packed all our gear and off we went to Shane's cottage in Otter Lake, Quebec! It was nice that for once, the weather cooperated to see my favourite annual meteor shower without having to drive thousands of miles!
Continuing to catch up with old observing reports! Last year, I was able to get only one night of observing for October’s Orionids. This is one of my favourite annual showers, not only because of its association with Comet Halley, but also because of it’s “plateau like” duration and occasional enhancements. In some rare years, such as 2006-2008, there put on spectacul
Here’s my results for the morning of July 30th 2017. Third night in a row! The sky was actually cloudy when I got there, so I slept in the car until 2am. I signed-on as soon as it cleared up and I was able to observe for a couple of hours until morning twilight. The transparency was a very decent average-quality. Between 2:10-4:10am, I saw a total of 58 meteors. This included 14 S. Del
Here’s my results for the morning of July 29th 2017. The sky was much nicer than the previous night, with above-average transparency! The Milky Way was very structured, and there was a wealth of stars all around the zenith! As always, I setup my chair facing south to keep an eye on the many active radiants in that part of the sky.
This was a very productive 3.5 hour session with 94 me
On this late July session at Bootland Farm, I had the company of a curious deer who'd approach and sniff the grass around me. It was mild at +15C and there was a lot of mosquitoes but the Thermacell once again worked wonders! Nice sky, with average transparency except for some passing cirrus clouds around 1:30am. A half hour later, the sky improved. Except for the occasional rustlings from th
The 2016 Geminids peak night was unfavourable due to the Full Moon just above Orion. To make matters more challenging, the sky was hazy and full of cirrus. Normally I would skip this and stay in bed but this is among the year’s best meteor showers. Even on an “off” year, I usually will make an attempt to go out.
It appeared that the clouds were breaking up on the evening
I went out for a quick one hour midnight session to enjoy the sky. It was average becoming below-average transparency with haze and cirrus clouds in parts of the sky. Fortunately, my view to the south was pretty good! I saw twelve meteors (9 sporadics, 2 September Perseids and 1 anthelion). The best meteor was at 11:59pm; a mag +1 golden sporadic that moved slowly near the border of Cygnus-Ca
Here’s a pre-peak Perseids watch for the morning of August 11 2016 at Bootland Farm. Sky had average transparency but with some cirrus clouds covering the north. It was a warm night at +20C and very humid but without any dew. I was excited when I got out of the car there, as a nice mag -2 Perseid shot to the north! It was a surprisingly noisy night with a lot of crickets all over the pl
A few nights later, I went out again to Bootland to enjoy an early morning session. I rushed to leave home because I slept right through my midnight alarm clock, so I quickly grabbed what I needed and left so that I could still catch a good 2-3 hours of darkness before dawn.
When I arrived at Bootland, I realized I had left my meteor bag at home! … in the street actually! This bag
The last few days of July period has long been one of my favourite times to observe meteors! Activity kicks into high gear at this point, with several active southern radiants including the Aquariids, early Perseids and upswing in sporadic rates too! The Moon will usually either favour the Aquariids in late July or the more popular Perseids in August. For 2016, the situation was actually prett
I went out to Bootland Farm on the morning of May 10th to look for late Eta Aquariids. It was a very nice night, and comfortably cool with the temperature just above the freezing mark. I only watched for an hour but I was pleased to see 11 meteors (including 3 Eta Aquariids). One of the ETAs was a wonderful mag 0, blue, 50 degrees long earthgrazer that shot into Draco and Ursa Minor.
I went out to Bootland Farm for a pre-dawn Eta Aquariids watch, and Shane Finnigan joined me. The sky was really nice, and it was wonderful to hear a chorus of birds, owls, frogs and ducks. It was a comfortable night to be out too.
Unless the Eta Aquariids are unusually active, it’s uncommon to see more than a few per hour from 45 degrees latitude. The radiant is very low and by th
I had excellent success in observing and photographing the 2016 Quadrantids maximum! Shane Finnigan joined me, and we drove to Otter Lake to setup at his cottage. Along the way, we were quite skeptical about the weather, judging by how thick the cloud cover was all above us. It was just overcast everywhere. The forecast showed a possible clearing to the north so we figured it was worth a shot
On this night, we did some more casual observing, and then caught up on much needed sleep before the trip back home.
I decided to set my alarm and get up to observe the sky outside the bunk houses for a couple in the morning sky. I’m lucky I woke because I don’t even remember hearing the alarm. The sky was beautiful with 7th mag stars visib
At sunset, we got set for another full night of observing. I especially excited about this night for a few reasons… For one thing, the exact time of the broad maximum had occurred just a few hours before nightfall, so we anticipated that the Geminids would still be plenty active again tonight. Then, as the activity starts declining quic
Here’s the results for the first night of Geminids, which was the night of maximum activity.
The session started a bit later than planned, as we setup our cameras, aligned our tracking mounts and then had to wait for a few lingering cloudy periods to move away. Then… it was clear … and … WOW!!! … was it EVER clear!!! The limiting magnitude topped at near