Category Meteor Showers

Perseid Meteor Shower 2013

This year, I was lucky enough to catch the Perseid Meteor Shower in two locations.  The shower kicked off while I was up in Lake Tahoe on our yearly family vacation.  Of course, I brought my DSLR and tripod so I could see if I could capture one of these meteors.  I saw some very colorful fireballs up in Tahoe, which is first time I saw this type of meteor before.  One of the memorable meteors burned up red and green as it blazed across the sky.  Although I did not capture a meteor up in Tahoe, I got a really nice photo with the Milky Way in the backdrop.

TahoeNightSky2

Fast forward to the next night as I set out to capture one of these elusive meteors from my backyard.  I sat outside for a couple hours and I took about a hundred photos.  About 10 minutes before I headed in, I changed the view of the camera to focus on a different part of the sky.  I figured if I was not going to catch a meteor on camera, I might as well get a cool wide field shot of the Andromeda Galaxy.  I started taking exposures and a meteor burned up  over the tree I was shooting and I prayed that it was caught on the camera.  I looked and sure enough it was so I packed it up for the night.  These meteors are the first I have seen burn up in color and typically this particular shower produced colorful ones.  I wonder if the particular meteor was very rich in nickel as it burned up green as it entered the atmosphere.

PerseidAndromedaAnotated

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Video of Meteorite Exploding Over Russia Earlier Today

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A meteor exploded over Russia’s central Ural Mountains earlier today, February 15, 2013.  A large fireball can be seen blazing across the sky with a brilliant flash of light and a sonic boom.

According to Reuter’s

“People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave according to a Reuters correspondent in the industrial city 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow.”

“A fireball blazed across the horizon, leaving a long white trail in its wake which could be seen as far as 200 km (125 miles) away in Yekaterinburg. Car alarms went off, windows shattered and mobile phone networks were interrupted.”

You can see a large streak and fireball sailing over the sky in the video posted by BBC Europe

Update: Here are some photos this historic event

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Draconid Meteor Shower

A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate from one point in the night sky.  Over the last couple nights, the Draconid Meteors rained down on Earth, sparking in upwards of 1000 meteors per hour.  According to spaceweather.com, an outburst of over 1,000 meteors per hour, which was detected by the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR).

I sat outside after sunset and set up my Nikon D7000 on a tripod and waited for the meteors (waiting being the operative word).  I thought with a 1000 meteors an hour, I was sure to see at least one of them.  According to sources, the meteors were very dim so I did not observe any with my own eyes on the 7th but my camera lens did!  As I was reviewing my images from the couple hours I spent outside, I caught a glimpse of a meteor that I caught on film.  I went out again on the 8th of October and saw 5 visible meteors in an hour and a half and that was good enough for me.  It was nice to spend some time outside admiring the wonders of the Universe hoping to get a glimpse of the elusive Draconid meteors.

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Perseid Meteor Shower was a Dazzling Display

I saw my first meteor shower tonight from the comfort of my own backyard.  I was out tonight shooting the North Star (Polaris) with my telescope at 11pm when I noticed a bright flash of light streak through the night sky.  I quickly took my DSLR off my telescope and quickly mounted it to a tripod in hopes to capture one of these amazing bursts of light with my camera.  It is 1am now and I did not think I had captured any of the meteors I have seen tonight.  As I was pouring over the hundreds of photos I took tonight, a small white streak in the upper left of this photo caught my eye:

Perseid Meteor Shower

Perseid Meteor Shower

As you can see, there is a white streak of light to the left of the redwood tree and I am amazing that I actually caught one of these on film.  There were three memorable meteors that left a lasting impression on me as they burned a bright white and cut through the darkness, leaving a long trail behind them.

Between the hours 1am and 1:30am I had to recharge my battery for my camera, which gave me some time to write so here I am.  After coming back from shooting a second time, I caught two more meteors at 1:53am and 1:54am and thank goodness because I am tired!

Perseid Meteor Shower @ 1:53am

Perseid Meteor Shower @ 1:53am

Perseid Meteor Shower @1:54am

Perseid Meteor Shower @1:54am

I was truly captivated by the site of the meteors tonight as I have never seen anything like this before...

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