Saturday, 15 December 2012

Geminid Meteor Shower over Perth Observatory

Well, after many hours of work on this series of photographs (probably about 7 hours - there goes my weekend!) I have a result I am happy with.

This photograph shows 6 Geminid meteors over the night sky of the Perth Observatory. You can see some buildings of the public viewing area in the foreground and main telescope dome in the distance.  The photograph was taken on the night of the 14th - 15th December 2012, after I had finished hosting a public viewing session.

This is a combination of 31 individual exposures. Some of those are the meteors (6), some are the remainder of the star field (15), some are the foreground (10).

Look carefully and you will see all 6 meteors angled towards the constellation of Gemini. Click the photo to see a larger version.

Geminid Meteors with Pleiades, Jupiter, Orion and Sirius

You can also see in the photograph, from left to right: Pleaides (star cluster), Jupiter, Constellation of Orion, and the bright stars Sirius and Procyon.

It's a nice high resolution 18 megapixel image too, so I'm looking forward to printing it large and seeing how well it comes up.

Read about the Geminids Meteor Shower at Wikipedia.

Is it a Geminid? No - An iridium flare!

Last night I was taking photo's of the north-eastern sky hoping to capture a few Geminid meteors. While I did get a few, this was by far the brightest object in the photographs and it's not a Geminid.

This is an Iridium Flare, a line of light made by a satellite of the Iridium cluster of satellites moving overhead.

The domes of the Perth Observatory can be seen in the foreground of this fisheye photograph. The bright glow to the left is the unfortunate effect of light pollution spreading from the suburbs of Perth.

Iridium Flare over Perth Observatory with Pleiades, Jupiter and Orion

Also visible in the photograph is Pleiades (also called the Seven Sisters), Jupiter, and the constellation of Orion along with Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky).

Here is another photo taken a little later with nicer composition of the foreground, showing a third observatory dome in the foreground. The stars has a nice colour diffusion around them due to slight dew on the camera lens.
Pleiades, Jupiter, Orion and Sirius at the Perth Observatory