Posts tagged 'meteors'

Observing Report 13th-14th December 2017 (Geminid meteors)

Posted by on December 17th 2017 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics
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Typically there was much cloud on the two best Geminid meteor observing nights. Just to rub it in, it had been clear for both of the two preceding nights and it was clear again for both of the two following nights. I managed a stop/start session on the night of the 13th, the skies changing from short clear periods to longer periods of snow or sleet far too often for my liking. I seemed to spend most of the time stopping/starting the capture software and covering/uncovering the camera. About 25 bright trails were observed while only 118 camera shots were taken, but only two Geminids were recorded.

Here's a composite pic, click it to see a bigger version:

A pair of Geminid meteors.

Observing Report 17th-18th November 2017 (Leonid meteors session 2)

Posted by on November 20th 2017 in My vids, Observing Reports, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.)
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Over 650 pics... plenty of clouds and more than a few planes, but only two Leonid meteors.
I'll post separate pics of them later, but for now here's a time-lapse of 45-second frames compiled to play at 2fps.
Leonid meteors at UTC 03:05:12 and at UTC 05:00:15
It's best viewed in full-screen after it has finished buffering.

Canon 1000D, 10-18mm zoom @ 10mm, F5.6, ISO 800, captured with APT v 3.33 (http://www.ideiki.com/astro/)
Post-processing with PS CS3, Irfanview, K3CCDTools3 and VDub.

 

Observing Report 16th-17th November 2017 (Leonid meteors session 1)

Posted by on November 19th 2017 in My vids, Observing Reports, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.)
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Over 650 pics... more than a few planes, but few meteors.
I'll post separate pics of them later, but for now here's a time-lapse of 60-second frames compiled to play at 2fps.
One Leonid at 02:33:24 and one sporadic at 06:26:04
It's best viewed in full-screen after it has finished buffering.

Canon 1000D, 10-18mm zoom @ 10mm, F5.6, ISO 800, captured with APT v 3.33 (http://www.ideiki.com/astro/)
Post-processing with PS CS3, Irfanview, K3CCDTools3 and VDub.

 

Observing Report 5th-13th August 2017 (Perseid meteors)

Posted by on August 22nd 2017 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

From the 5th to the 13th of August I managed four nights watching and photographing the Perseids. 1799 pics later and I'd caught nine good meteors on camera, and I'd seen about 75 while lazing on the garden bench. Bearing in mind the low hourly rates, several bouts of cloudiness and the rising Moon, nine on camera is about as many as I would have expected.

Here's the best pic of the bunch, captured on the 12th - looking towards the zenith, West is more-or-less downwards. Click it to see a bigger version:

A pair of Perseid meteors heading west-southwest.

(Late) Observing Report 12th-13th August 2013 (Perseid meteors)

Posted by on September 14th 2013 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

With one thing or another taking precedence, the processing of these was unavoidably delayed.

Perseid meteors - taster pic below - click it to see a few more.

Perseid meteor.

Beware of Rising Rocks

Posted by on August 9th 2013 in Astrostuff, Just for fun

Some timely information for those intending to go out to see the impending Perseid meteor shower:

Observing Report 17th-18th November 2012 (Part 1 – in like a lion, out like a… bull)

Posted by on November 18th 2012 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports

I spent ages outside in the freezing cold last night trying to catch some Leonid (LEO) meteors on camera. There were quite a few about and I was pointing the camera in the right direction, but after taking 443 30-second exposures I'd not managed to get one in shot.

I did, however, manage to snap this little beauty racing eastward between Auriga and Cassiopeia - it's a Taurid, probably a Northern Taurid (NTA):

I'm quite pleased with that result, and the whole exercise was good practice for next month's Geminids (GEM).

Observing Report 3rd January 2010 (Quads workout)

Posted by on January 4th 2010 in Observing Reports

After having had the weather spoil most of the meteor events of 2009 I was hopeful that the clear skies of the current cold spell would permit a reasonable view of the 2010 Quadrantids. Late in the afternoon the skies darkened and the clarity was good, so I prepped for a 2-hour session to start at 18:00.

The view northwards from the top of our plot is reasonable, looking out across dark gardens and a large low retirement-home.  The radiant was just visible above the artificial horizon, so there was a fair chance that I'd be able to see most of the upper 180-degree arc of the display. Doing some rough maths I figured that if the peak rate was 120/hour I'd get a reduction of 50% due to the 180-degree restriction and a further 50% reduction due to the low elevation. If all went well, I'd be looking for 30 meteors during the 18:30 - 19:30 peak hour.

18:00 arrived and I set up the camera. Despite having taken it outside early to acclimatize, the internal optics hazed up within minutes due to the low temperature (-4C and falling) so pics were a no-no. I've an aversion to forcing heat into any camera, so I took it back indoors for a gentle rewarm and resigned myself to a visual-only session. I found myself a comfy place from where to watch.

As the minutes passed the horizon became a hazy yellow mess due to a combination of a thin fog and light-pollution from the local street-lights and from the retirement home. Seeing 30 meteors in the next hour was going to be a challenge.

The show started at 18:46 - a trail straight through the head of Draco. And another a minute later, this time up near Cepheus. Things were looking good, but then it stopped. I saw only one more trail - a gloriously-bright streak almost overhead, passing through Cassiopeia at about 19:20.

In summary, the show wasn't much of a success, but it was good to be out again, despite the biting cold.

The next half-decent show should be the Lyrids in April, active from the 16th to the 25th with peak activity on the 22nd. Hopefully there'll be better conditions allowing me to get some pics as well as views.

Slow start

Posted by on January 2nd 2010 in Astrostuff
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The first quarter of the year is always poor for meteor viewing, there being only one major shower. Fair enough, there are a few minor showers in the first three months, but they hardly ever amount to much, which makes this post short and sweet...

The Quadrantids (QUA) are going to be peaking at around 19:00 on the 3rd of January, but seeing them isn't going to be easy as the waning Moon will be ruining the show. If you do get clear skies and the urge to observe, expect rates of 120/hour with the possibility of some variation between 60 and 200/hour. Speedwise we're looking at 41km/s. The Quadrantids are probably associated with minor planet 2003 EH1 (= comet C/1490 Y1?).

The Quadrantid radiant


There, that was easy. If you're going out to see them, good luck!

Harumph!

Posted by on October 19th 2009 in Astrostuff
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  😥

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