Scope Diagram Astrocamera.Net - Astrophotography by Dave Kodama

Lucky Meteor and Poppies
6 Apr. 2019


The poppy "superbloom" has finally reached the 4300 ft. elevation of the Orange County Astronomers' observing site. Just a week earlier, the display was much sparser.

After sunset, another marginal observing evening materialized. Clouds and ground level fog gave way later in the evening to some clear but humid skies for a few hours.


Because of the high humidity, I opted not to open up the observatory and subject the telescope and camera to dew. Instead I decided to just step outside for a few minutes to frame and shoot some quick wide-field shots of constellations which were high in the sky. Luck was with me as a slow-moving, very bright meteor photo-bombed one of two 20-second shots of the Big and Small Dippers and Arcturus!

The Big Dipper is "inverted" in the shot and the meteor appears to pour out of it (Jean's description). Click on the image to see a cropped enlargement. The bright knots in the trail occurred where the meteor brightened briefly, terminating in a very bright final flash of light.

Photo info
  • Date/Time: 6 Apr. 2019 - 22:51 PDT
  • Location: Vanishing Point Observatory
  • Camera: Nikon D850
  • Exposure: 20 seconds (ISO 1600)
  • Lens: Sigma 15mm fisheye @ f/4
  • Mount: fixed tripod