We are now passing closest to the orbits of the Eta Aquariid (ETA) meteor stream. As a result, the number of detected ETAs has been increasing over the past 5 nights (6 on 5/1, 4 on 5/2, 9 on 5/3, 12 on 5/4 and 12 on 5/5).
My good friend Salvador Aguirre of Hermosillo, Mexico operates an all-sky camera and has been posting images and movies of the ETAs on his blog.
I was outside at 4 am this morning observing comets. Even though I wasn’t watching for meteors I did see one ETA. Comet C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) is located only a few degrees from the ETA radiant. While observing the comet in 10×50 binoculars, I was able to watch an ETA brighten to visibility, move about a degree or two, leave behind a short lived trail and then flare out. This all happened within the small field-of-view of the binoculars. It was quite a sight.
The ETAs will continue to be good for the next few nights though the amount of dark time at the end of the night will be severely shortened by the Moon by early next week.
Obs Date(UT) Time TOT SPO ANT XLI ABO PBO ETA ELY SOP SAL 2017-05-05 09h 11m 24 10 0 0 - - 12 1 0 SAL 2017-05-04 09h 13m 27 13 0 1 0 0 12 0 1 SAL - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother) VIS - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother) Time - Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors TOT - Total number of meteors detected SPO - Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower) ANT - Anthelions XLI - April Chi Librids ABO - Alpha Bootids PBO - Phi Bootids ETA - Eta Aquariids ELY - Eta Lyrids SOP - Southern May Ophiucids Oth - other minor showers