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First ever meteor on camera

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:30 am
by Hampshire Astronomer

As you all know I have recently been getting into astrophotography and one thing I have wanted to do is to capture meteor trails, primarily when a good shower such as the perseid, leonids or geminids are on.

Last night I was attempting some star trail shots. Because of light pollution I tend to leave the shutter open for 30 seconds on continous shooting and then stack them all together....that was the plan!

Set the camera up...went in for a cuppa and came out to cloud :-(

There was one good shot....well reasonable shot....managed to catch a meteor going through UMi ... fullsize=1

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:53 am
by stella
Sorry Dave,
That's not a meteor, it's an Iridium Flare.
The image was taken at 19:07:11 U.T. as Iridium 42
passed through your field of view, flaring to predicted magnitude
of -8.

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:15 am
by Hampshire Astronomer

Oh well....just caught my first iridium flare :-)

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:24 am
by LeoLion
Hi David , I believe that what you have captured is not a meteor but an Iridium satellite flash.You may have well have captured the Iridium 42 satellite which Heavens Above identifies as giving a -8 flare at 19:07:00 UT on 09 Feb 2010 for Romsey,Hampshire. This ties in fairly closely with the Exif data of your image . 30 secs exp at 19h07m20s , 30 secs exposure f4.5 @ 18 mm focal length.
It is a very low activity time for meteors in February and there will be more activity in the pre dawn hours than early evening. Best of luck with your imaging.
Len E

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:31 am
by LeoLion
Beaten to it by Stella !! The Iridium's are nice party pieces to use to impress the un-initiated. An accurate watch (radio linked to DCF or MSF) - so called atomic time - is used plus a quick transfer of Altitude and Azimuth on to a combination of local landmarks and stellar background. It is well worth trapping a few of the 'predictions' with the camera for your own interest.

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:43 pm
by Alastair McBeath
Better luck next time, Dave!

This of course is why we recommend keeping a careful visual watch on the camera field whenever you're hoping to image meteors.

Alastair McBeath,
Meteor Director, Society for Popular Astronomy.
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