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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Perseid Meteors 2015

I had about half an hour last night between when the clouds cleared and then rolled back in to observe and photograph Perseids, and here's what I got.

All of these photos were taken with a Nikon D600 DSLR camera with a vintage Nikon 24 mm f/2.8 manual focus lens. All pictures were taken with the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/2.8, ISO sensitivity of 1600, and an exposure time of 30 seconds. I used an electrical cable release to operate the shutter, which was set to mirror lock-up mode to avoid vibration. I doubt it would have made any difference had I not taken these precautions. The camera was mounted on a tripod aimed in the general direction of the radiant of the meteor shower.

The most spectacular meteor was this fireball, which I estimated at around magnitude −4 (about as bright as Venus ever gets). It left a persistent trail which was visible for about five seconds after the meteor streaked across the sky. This was captured in a corner of the camera's frame, where the vintage lens, used at full aperture, exhibits obvious coma. Some of the colour in this image may be due to chromatic aberration in the lens. (In normal photographic circumstances you'd never notice these shortcomings; it's only in the extreme situation of a bright light source against a dark sky with the lens at full aperture that they become apparent.)


Click images to enlarge.

Now for some meteors which didn't blow out the camera and lens.


I didn't actually see this one myself; I only dug it out analysing the images.

Now, here are two I did see when they happened.

perseid_c_2015-08-13.jpg perseid_d_2015-08-13.jpg

Posted at August 13, 2015 15:06