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Southern Night Sky Observing

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Brilliant Meteor over Tivoli Farm

On the last few frames on my 35mm camera's roll of film (on the last night at Tivoli Farm), I decided to shoot a stationary tripod shot back towards the farm, intending to silhouette the farm against star trails. ~10 minutes into the exposure, a brilliant bolide lit up the sky just above the farm (as seen from my position). You can imagine how bright the meteor was since the camera aperture was set at f/8!

Although the meteor looks white in the shot, visually it was a brilliant emerald green, probably due to the high sensitivity of the human eye to green light. The meteor also appeared to fragment as it headed down. I could not see the red glow which is apparent in the photo, but that probably resulted from the trail left by meteor.

This image consists of that frame composited with a two-hour exposure taken immediately afterwards which better showed the foreground illuminated by the Milky Way.

Scope/lens: Nikon 35-50 zoom @ 35mm (f/8)
Camera: Nikon F
Film: Kodak E200 (+2 push processed)
Exposure: 10 minutes + 120 minutes
Location: Tivoli Farm, Namibia
Date: 6/16/2004