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Old 07-05-2023, 08:32 PM
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Zubenel (Wes)
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Eta Aquarids May 2023

Eta Aquarids 6th May 2023 a day too late???

Woke naturally at 4:30am, suited up to try my hand at seeing some of Comet Halley's debris burning up in our atmosphere namely the Eta-Aqaurid meteor shower.
With Cockerels crowing in the distance it was a not so bad 13 degrees , very calm . Setting up with a lawn chair pointing East my expectations of these generally are not high. With Saturn being the brightest denizen to the Northeast and bright Fomalhaut almost horizontally to the South , the radiant (or origin) of the shower was easily identified.
I immediately spied 2 satellites, the dimmer traveling high and from the North and the brighter coming in from the North East on an angle with the dimmer . For a few seconds it appeared that they would pass in front of each but came very close , visually only .
With no meteors seen yet , it presented a good opportunity to refamiliarise myself with the close-by constellations.
An easily identifiable Al Nair( Alpha Grus the constellation of Grus the Crane) sat to the South of Fomalhaut , using my Sky Safari app , Gruid sat almost vertically below AlNair . The first new name to remember . At the heart of the Crane sat a lovely pair of suns Delta 1 & Delta 2 . All these stars are special , I won’t characterise any here apart from Delta 2 for sake of brevity and interest.
Delta2 Gruis is big compared to SOL!!!
It is a 4th magnitude Variable Double Star appearing in the constellation Grus. It is 330 light years from our solar system. It is a red giant of spectral type M4.5IIIa. Its surface temperature is 3433 Kelvins - 40% cooler than the Sun's - and it is 103.5 times the Sun's diameter in size. This star's total energy output, or luminosity, is 1342 times the Sun's, and it has a mass of 1.2 Solar masses.
This star is part of a double or multiple star system, but its orbit is not known. Its magnitude +9.7 secondary component appears 60.4 arc seconds away, corresponding to a physical distance of at least 6113 AU from its primary.
Delta2 Gruis is a pulsating long-period variable star of type LB:. Its magnitude varies from +4.0 to +4.2, with an irregular or unknown period.

Sliding up in elevation Al Dhanab, Ras Alkurki
Most of these stars were named by the ancient Arabics . Ras Alkurki’s meaning is the head of the crane , very fitting .
During this time a very fast and faint Meteor flashed out exactly from the center of the radiant. My first for this event .
Turning my attention to the constellation of Piscis Austrinus , the Southern Fish , I found I could use direct vision on its Stars up 4th magnitude . Scribing a very rough half circle I worked my way up and to the North of Fomalhaut to Epsilon and back around to Beta. No Arabic names are given for these?? Averted vision made them pop though .
On to the Constellation of Aquarius with Skat a Mag 3.2 star easily seen below and to the North of the radiant . Either side of Skat , Tau2 Aquarii at mag 4 and c2 Aquarii at mag 3.7 were gained.
Above Saturn lies the constellation of Capricornus the Sea Goat with Deneb Algedi, or Scheddi Meaning the tail of the goat . Pretty bright at mag 2.8. Just above I saw Nashira at mag 3.7 ” bearer of good news”

At this time the ending of a partially Eclipse moon was getting low in the West . I had a bit of a look when I stepped out at 4:30am but could discern it from a standard full moon .
So with a full moon low in the West from a light pollution scale site of 5/10 what was the faintest star I could see using averted vision ? Iota cap above Nasira sat Iota Cap at mag 4.28. To the South Zeta Cap at 3.75 . Epsilon Cap at 4.5 was pretty good I thought but with a fair bit of time Beta Cap was gained at mag 4.75. Getting to the limit!
Around this time a tumbling satellite drifted from the West with a characteristic slow pulse or 5 to 10 seconds it signifies a dead satellite , nothing but a piece of space junk, a pent satellite , spinning and drifting uncontrolled.

One more satellite drifted through but no more meteors. Lucky that this is a peaceful place , physically ,physically and spiritually.

I then noticed the first light of dawn .

No , it was not a time wasted but rather the opposite.
Awe and wonder abound folks, partake if you will.
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Old 07-05-2023, 11:13 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
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Fantastic report Wes, indeed awe and wonder abounds!

Sometimes it's just nice to take a break from telescopic observing and just gaze up with the naked eye, taking it all in and learning more of the night sky along the way. I really enjoyed reading your observation report, thanks for posting
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Old 07-05-2023, 11:20 PM
Dave882 (David)
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Great report. A really enjoyable read!
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Old 08-05-2023, 05:54 PM
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Zubenel (Wes)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpickCrom View Post
Fantastic report Wes, indeed awe and wonder abounds!

Sometimes it's just nice to take a break from telescopic observing and just gaze up with the naked eye, taking it all in and learning more of the night sky along the way. I really enjoyed reading your observation report, thanks for posting

Just you reply makes it worth the while . Thanks .
It still amazes me how many levels one can experience the heavens and how each has it's own reward, none better or worse than each other ..just different.
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Old 08-05-2023, 05:58 PM
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Zubenel (Wes)
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Originally Posted by Dave882 View Post
Great report. A really enjoyable read!
In this busy world it seems there is only time to scan an article let alone read so thanks for taking the time . Cheers
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Old 08-05-2023, 11:14 PM
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OzEclipse (Joe Cali)
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Hi Wes,
Great report. A night out is never wasted IMO.

I have tried the Eta Aquarids a number of times. From 34-35 south latitude, I've had relatively little success seeing very low hourly rates. On one occasion, I observed from the tropics (20S) in WA and the show was really impressive.

Joe
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Old 10-05-2023, 06:47 PM
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Cheers Wes a good read.Iwas fortunate enough to see two against a blue sky yesterday while waiting for a morning coffee.
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