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Perseid Meteor Shower


Peter Hill


See photographs at bottom of page

See also photos of the afterglow caught on camera

Despite the increasing cloud cover we decided to see if we could spot any perseids.
10:45 set up with loungers , coffee mugs, 7 x 50 bins, Canon450D Canon 15mm fisheye on tripod with shutter release cable locked to give continuous shooting at 25",ISO1600, F2.8, having focussed using Arcturus .
Cloud high and generally thin and continually changing, but reflecting all the local light pollution!
Camera set up 40 deg to right (E) of Cassiopea and at inclination of 50 deg. First image shows chart for this with radiant ( approx. double cluster)  marked.
First streak of a Perseid at 11:21:51, track circled on right, top right is satellite track and satellite is also visible passing down through cassiopea. Meteor tracks back to radiant. Lots of satellites visible throughout the evening.
Next streak at 11:33:40, also includes satellite track.
Next slide at 11:34:06 shows continuation of satellite track.
Another satellite at 11:38:28.
A couple of Perseids had been glimpsed passing through Ursa major during this period.
Another Perseid at 11:44:36, slight hint of a green tail due to excitation of high altitude Oxygen.
By this time liz decided she'd had enough excitement for one night, I decided to reset the camera to the left (W) of Cassiopea, The slide with U.Major shows location of radiant for this view.
Next streak observed at 11:56:13, not a satellite, even checked Iridium data, none due at this time location, not a Perseid as does not trace back to radiant, quite likely a Kapa Cygni, see radiant chart and
The highlight of the evening was just after midnight at 00:21:37, fireball, these shots don't do it justice as they do not show the after glow due to the ionised gases. The tail shows the green associated with ionised oxygen and  a hint of pink near the front of the trail due to ionised Nitrogen lower in the atmosphere. The after glow left behind is trail of hot ionised gas that reflects radar signals and is responsible for producing radar traces like the one shown after the close up of the fireball.
Another satellite passing though the view at 00:22:55, compare with the possible kappa Cygni trail.
Another Perseid at 00:35:37 , again hint of green in trail.
Had just started to nod , time, to pack up, cleared away, as I came out of garage at just about 1, the skies had miraculously cleared, miky way clearly traceable through Cassiopea and across the sky to NE and SW. Gave it another 10 mins but no more action.
A busy day having spent the morning testing out DMK41 mono cd camera with PST for solar imaging, report / images to follow.
Pete H. 

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