Astronomy can be a
relaxing hobby as well as an interesting one. Meteor observing
can be as simple as lying in a deck chair watching the shooting
stars flash through a dark moonless night. Many years ago I used
to plot the positions of these meteors on photocopies of Norton's
Star Atlas. Having got back into the hobby after many years, I
thought I would do a little more observing.
I have put together
a small battery of cameras to try and image these meteors. The
first attempt was in November 1999 from Death Valley when we went
to observe the transit of Mercury. I know it was supposed to be
better in Europe, but the transit wasn't visible there. Over the
two main nights we saw a selection of meteors numbering about
300 in all. Some more impressive than others, though all the bright
ones were where I had just moved the camera from! In addition
I was using a wide angle lens which made any trails very small
and difficult to spot.
Anyway it was great
fun, and to ensure that I didn't get too cold and eroded away
by the sand I dressed for the occasion.
Meteor observing in
Death Valley. The Vixen GP mount with a bank of four Olympus cameras
with 8mm - 16mm - 28mm -50mm lenses. The mount was actually run
static. The camera bar is a Manfrotto.
A series of images
showing VERY small meteors from the 1999 Leonids - Film is Fuji
800 Sensia. A case of spot the meteor - there is one on each of
the prints, but you have to look close!
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