Perseid Meteor Shower
12-14 August 2010

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For the 2010 Perseids, I was out at my observatory at the OCA's Anza site for two nights. During this time, I was running a Nikon D700 camera with 15mm fisheye lens in intervalometer mode (see technical details below) as well as a medium format camera with 35mm fisheye lens. Below is my "best of" collection of Perseid meteors from the two nights. These shots are also viewable as a slide show (hosted at another site). Click on the "slide show" button to view a full-screen set of images (Flash required).

12-13 August

Two Perseids in this frame (near each other).

This was the brightest meteor of the two nights, captured on a film frame. I saw this meteor first as it lit up the ground and cast shadows, then watched a bright green glowing trail gradually fade out over about 30 seconds. My observatory neighbor Jim captured a digital sequence which showed that the trail lasted at least 5 minutes photographically.

This shot should be a lesson to all of us -- don't turn your camera off too early!
This is a contrast-enhanced enlarged section of the previous frame.
Visible here is the dissipating trail of the meteor seen in the previous frame.

13-14 August

Along with a bright Perseid meteor passing near Jupiter, this shot captured one of the many passing airplanes (bright trail at center).
Another late shot of the night picked up two meteors as well as the zodiacal light.

These are plots of the counts of meteors captured on the digital camera over the two evenings, binned into 15-minute intervals. These do not include the bright meteor captured on film on the first night.

Technical Notes:

  • Most images seen here were shot with a Nikon D700 and Sigma 15mm fisheye lens at f/2.8, ISO 1600, 25 second exposure, 30 second intervals. This camera was on a fixed tripod.

  • The image of the brightest meteor was shot with a Planet Town 6x7 camera and Pentax 35mm lens at f/4 on Kodak PPF-400 negative film, 45 minute exposure. This camera was on a Losmandy Titan mount.