Observing Report 13th-14th and 14th-15th December 2012 (Geminids Part 1)

Posted by @ 11:49 pm on Saturday 15th December, 2012.

The best period fer seein' the Geminids were bein' from dusk on Thursday t' dawn on Friday. I were bein' ready early wi' the D50 set up on the mount, totin' the 35mm prime, an' intendin' t' track a bit o' sky around Taurus. The evenin' started cloudy but I were bein' convinced that there would be some clear spells afore sun-up. Suffice t' say that there weren't a single cloud-gap all night an' I gave in t' sleep at around 4 a.m. An' swab the deck! when the mist came down an' then froze. Ye'll be gettin' three lashes f' that, me lad! It 'ad been a wasted night, an' the fact that folk in other places 'ad been seein' the best Geminid display fer many a year were bein' really rubbin' it in.

The forecast fer the next night were bein' slightly better, the cloud were bein' supposed clear sometime around midnight, so I decided t' have another go even though the meteor-rate would be much lower, by Davy Jones' locker. Same kit, this time trackin' a vague area betwixt Lynx an' Ursa Major, to be sure. The clouds did part an' there were bein' still a fair number o' Geminids whizzin' about, I took 300 etchins an' managed t' catch just the one meteor trail. It were bein' a promisin' start.

I re-aimed the camera an' rattled off another 35 shots in the direction o' Camelopardalis afore the constellation became obstructed by the observatory roof. By this time Leo 'ad risen so far that it were bein' fully in the field o' view so I aimed at that an' ran off another 300 shots afore it clouded o'er fully, endin' the session.

After a short sleep an' a wonderful afternoon o' festive pillagin' I got around t' processin' the images, here be the best o' the Geminids that I caught on camera:


 Geminid meteor in Ursa Major
Main image: 19 x 30s subs @ ISO 400, stacked wi' DSS
Luminance layer: 1 x 30s sub processed in PS CS3
Final layerin' in PS CS3


Here be a screenshot from Starry Night Pro Plus 6, showin' roughly where the FOV were bein':


 The FOV o' the 35mm prime on the D50
The red triangle marks the radiant point o' the Geminid meteor shower
Compare the two images an' ye'll see that them there naughty twins appear t' have shot the Great Bear up the arse

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