Meteor Observations


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.


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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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